Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our own way.

June 2nd - our third son is 21 today! So there's another milestone. Liz and I pray for our children each day, never mind that one is 27, the next 25 and the others 21, 17 and 14. It's what you do. They've each got their own 'pilgrimage' to make in life.
I read the story of Joni Erikson, now Joni Erikson Tada (I think that's right). She was paralysed after a dive into shallow water. It used to make me uneasy. She's a radiant Christian. She lives out her Christian commitment, and trusts God; and takes the view that what happened to her was a part of God's plan for her. "In all things God works for good for those who love Him, for those called according to His purpose." But reading about the experience of being left quadraplegic,I hated to think of that happening to me - or to anyone who I cared about. It is a scary thought. It was getting me down. Someone, our church pastor at the time, pointed out that this was HER individual experience, her life journey and was not everybody else's. We each have our own.
That's a very helpful comment, and it should have been obvious, but I still needed to hear it. There are several billion people on Earth, there have been several billion more who lived in the past. They (we) each have our own path in God's plan. And God's plan must have several contingencies built in, to cope with the different ways we cause things to turn out. Some people live to be incredibly old, some die young. It's hard to get your head around, sometimes. The possibilities are endless. It might be brilliant to leave this world the way Elijah the Prophet did, in a fiery chariot. But that was for him, not for everyone.
The plan for each person must include when and where we are born. People sometimes say they wish they had been born in a different time, or place. Apart from the old saying about the grass looking greener over the fence, there would be other problems if we actually were. I'm glad I was born in this age - I like television, movies and having thousands of books. Living in the 'pioneer' age, log cabins and bark huts and all that, might seem quaint but it would have been a bit basic, too. The thing is, some people were meant to be born in that era. There were those who came to know Jesus and lived out faithful Christian lives, under those times and conditions. It would not have been as good if that identical individuals were born into another different age. The same goes for the place we're each born, I'm guessing. Living in England and Australia (and Malta, although I can't remember it because we left when I was two) must be what was right for my brother and myself - and numerous other people who've migrated.
There are some people who's place in life I do NOT envy. That's probably meant to show - we each have the life situation best for us. I could wish I was born into royalty, then remember being constantly subject to public scrutiny would drive me nuts. So the way we've each got it must be for a purpose. That's not to say all problems are easy to cope with. Nor is it to say that we should not interfere, if we can and should help others with their hardships. We're called to help others. It is not the Christian way to ignore suffering and say, that's the person's fate sent by God. What we do need to know, if I've got it right, is that where we are is a God-given thing and part of His purpose. Now having said all that, I'd better pray I can remember it myself and not start grumbling about the life I've been born into.


Robert said...

My wife's niece passed away last month, ending a thirteen year struggle to survive. She was born an invalid, and she never spoke, or walked, or did much of anything besides live. Yet in listening to the speakers at her funeral, I commented to my wife that perhaps it was we who should envy her, if such a thing were righteous, and not she who should wish to by like the rest of us. She was able to live a life without sin. She taught others how to love and show compassion, and she brought peace into the hearts of all who met her. She did all that just by being alive.

What I learned from her that day, though I think I had already begun to know it, was that we each have our own crosses to bear and our own lives to live. In the preexistence we may have been given choices of what life we might want or we might simply have been told "this one is yours" but I know that we all came here knowing what was to come. Mortality is a brief period in one eternal round, and if living as a quadraplegic for such a short time helps that young girl rise far above the rest of us later, then who is truly "crippled" or "handicapped"?

Thanks for the thought provoking post.

whitney said...

hi, thanks for your note. I too would love to just be able to sit and write for a living as well, sadly at 27 unless I uncover some brilliantly creative vein of publishable something-or-another hiding in my head, that won't happen for a while.

Your profile intrigues me, I want to be a teacher someday, but at the same time I wonder if I'd really have the patience for the stupid mistakes that people make on a daily basis.

Sharon said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am a teacher and have been at it for 24 years, 2 years in Special Ed in Missouri, 21 years in first grade in Texas and 1 year in second at the same school.

Thank you for the book suggestion. I checked the local library and they don't have a copy so I checked at Amazon and found that you are the author! From what I read about it, I would like to read it. I'm going to check some more book stores and places on the net I use and if they don't have it I'll order it from Amazon.

Take care, God bless.

Alanda said...

You wrote a nice post. Be blessed more! =) Alanda