Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Major Milestone in a Long Game of Catch-Up

Three years ago, while we were visiting Newfoundland, our basement flooded.  Loving family and friends rescued our belongings and moved them to our carport.  Yesterday, after all that time, we finally reclaimed the carport for our car.  I won't bore you with the details as to why it has taken so long.  Suffice it to say, it has been a long difficult road fraught with mistakes, setbacks, oversights and discouragement.  There remains a great deal of remodeling to do, but having come this far is representative of the direction we are going and comes as a great encouragement.

I look around the neighborhood and see my friends getting their homes and yard ready for winter.  That used to seem like a daunting task.  Now, I see keeping up as a whole lot easier than catching up.  I guess life is like that too.  I keep thinking it sure would be nice if I could just be maintaining, rather that struggling, so far behind.

As we conducted the yard sale and then hauled piles of stuff to Deseret Industries it occurred to me that had we not had the disaster, it is quite possible that all of this stuff would still be wedged tightly into every nook and cranny of our home.  Instead, having done without much of it for better than three years, we began to see what was important to us and what was mere detritus.  The disaster, while inconvenient and burdensome, has also been beneficial and enlightening.  Perhaps life is meant to be like that.  Perhaps if we were permitted to just carry on with the status quo, we'd never grow, appreciate the relative value of things.  Perhaps God intends to upset our apple carts once in a while to keep us on the move and to help us put things into perspective.

Perhaps it is also so with our own personalities.  We move through life accumulating baggage that we tuck away in the nooks and crannies of our psyche and we go along quite nicely keeping up the facade, making things look presentable to the neighbors so to speak.  Then something disastrous comes along to shake us to the very foundations of our lives.  We are emotionally put out on the street.  It is embarrassing, cumbersome, awkward and frightening.  Then, over time, we figure out how to put our lives back together.  We jettison baggage we hardly remembered we had.  We remodel, rebuild, tidy up, establish more refined priorities and while it seems like we're catching up, and hardly keeping up; we are making enormous improvements.

It's beginning to look like, in both cases, that the end result will be far better that it would have been had we just carried on as we intended.  A little disaster is just plain good for the soul.  Of course it included adversity, but then that's what adversity's for.

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