Thursday, September 16, 2004


What's Important?

Continuing yesterday's theme...

There are always choices. Vanilla Swiss Almond, or Hazelnut Supreme? Anchovies, or none? Live for God or live for self?

I never knew what to live for. So, I decided I was going to remake the world. My family and the people around us seemed to know nothing but a sort of automatic approach to relationships with other people. All these rules to observe. They seemed unnecessary to me, but it's hard to break the established habits of others. I tried to change myself so I could more flexibly make connections with people.

It didn't work. Oh, I had the right idea but also had limits. Growing up amid a group of highly rational people, I naturally tried to solve the problem of relationships through rational process. Figure out the problem, come up with a solution, test it and reiterate until success comes along. Simple, right? It worked for Edison, it worked for the Wright brothers, it'll work for me.

Wrong. The idea was flawed from the beginning. A further problem was that I had the wrong set of tools to use for solving this problem. In other words, to improve my own relationships I used what I learned from a group that didn't know much about it. I didn't give up until 1994.

Dreamcrash. What do you live for when your dream dies? I was lucky. I'd found a new outlet for passion in sand sculpture, which kept me distracted long enough to get over the death of that long-held dream.

Sand sculpture held me together just long enough. When that program was showing signs of wearing out I ran into Mosaic and quite suddenly was amid a whole new group of people. They had dreams, they had passion, they were interested in things. No cool distant ones among them. Involved, concerned, and I saw that, and WHAM! That old dream of relationship was suddenly resurrected. I thought it was dead. It was just sleeping, and God woke it up.

In short, I had the right idea but the wrong timing and the wrong technology. That's important. I believed in my dream until it was clearly unattainable, and then I quit believing. God, however, didn't quit believing in me. He waited... waited... and timed things exquisitely, moving precisely at the point where I'd listen to Him. "It's really my dream. You have to have Me in order to make it live." That's important.

I could have chosen to live for God years ago. I chose other things because of beliefs I held at that time, and God honored my choices. He even protected me from the worst effects of my mismanagement while I ran my choices into the ground. Sand sculpture just isn't enough of a foundation for a real life. The ability to choose between Swiss Almond Vanilla and Hazelnut Supreme is a small example of God's love. We have freedom. That's also important. It's interesting, however, that only after we choose to live for Him do we see these choices as they really are. The choices we make matter.

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