First on why real life is sometimes an intrusion. Real life is the petrie dish, isn’t it? Only it’s more than a petrie dish, it is more like the proof of the pudding which we can’t exactly try over. We have to move past and try again, but we don’t get the luxury of some of these fantasies that find themselves expressed in modern media. Take, like, the “Heroes” show where the guy bends time. We all want to be able to time travel- “do it over”. Like “Ground Hog Day”…and what is that new one coming up? Where the guy reworks the same day, only over and over? The name of it escapes me.
Anyway, we want this… and think about it, it is just the reincarnation theory worked out in a different manner and venue- but still the whole wishful thinking that we somehow never are truly, and fully, accountable… that somehow we get to be masters of our fate. Only the trouble with reincarnation, which results from the short sighted thinking that we humans are prone to, is that it becomes your worst nightmare. No closure -ever. To be stuck in the same unending spiral of pain. Because death and loss are pain, and it never ever ends for those who hold to ideas of reincarnation. They have no guarantee of a way out. No idea about it either.
Digressed there a bit. Oh yes, “Real Life”. I want to write some things on this clash of my abstract ethics with my real life, but it gets messy. I don’t feel I have the right to air too much of the family laundry, but I have to be honest, or my opinions don’t count for much. If I can’t be honest, I waste both our time. But you have to respect other peoples lives, too. Here goes in trying to walk that tightwire.
I have held ideas on family which tend to be abstract at the beginning because I come from a genuinely dysfunctional one. It was dysfunctional before that became vogue and everyone was doing it. So I kind of started from scratch in marriage and raising children, but with the baggage of working through not only the lies of my generation, but the tangled one of my parents. I find that I was not alone in this- it earmarked my generation. So now, everywoman that I am, I find myself dealing with living out ideals in how we should- in life- care for the elderly. In my abstracts, things are pretty cut and dry, in the working out of this….. the real stuff is messy.
I started obsessing on a blog when going through stuff with my Father. You don’t get to read much of that because it vaporized from upsaid when they went paid instead of free service. Now, my mother lives here after more than year of feverish preparation. Long story why we didn’t just move her into a spare room. But not to the point here, so…. anyway, I started on another one of my life’s journey’s for which I am not ready. I always say I get backed into the important things of my life. That is my “way” I guess. I do things on the basis of whether they are right rather than on the basis of what I feel. Blame it on the intp personality makeup. I do.
So where is this ambling post taking you? Social security is a shambles. Our treatment of the elderly is a shame. Our families are under seige in this culture. And we have no where to go with all of this when we try to rebuild according to the things that are Biblical injunctions. Except the basic hard work of adjusting our lives and doing what it takes to build the structure right.. in our own homes, with our own time and our own sacrifice. One of the working definitions that we have to rebuild is the concept of “duty”. Because you know, not everything in the realm of doing what is right just feels all good and joyful. At least not in the beginnng.
As a Christian I am betting on the joy that comes with obedience. But that’s just me. And some of that is …much later….
I know there are those who want to say that -wow, you aren’t doing your mom any favors with all this talk of duty and doing what’s right and not finding much joy in it. But here is the lesson I learned in my life: when you have genuine need , what matters is that need gets met, not whether people are all happy and nice about it. I want to be happy and nice, and maybe one of my own adjustments is that I am not burdened with the responsibility to fix everything for everyone and make it all come out right. Maybe that is actually God’s job. What is my job is taking on the personal responsibility of taking care of my duties and somehow finding the joys in them. Yep, I have been reading Ecclesiastes and thinking about that last chapter’s paragraph at the end. The end, the final summation. Letting God do His job, and finding the grace to do what is mine. Christians will tell you there is joy to be had in that. And I am a Christian, but I will tell you that it doesn’t always feel that way in the beginning. In fact, the sowing of joy sometimes comes with some weeping and some sacrifice…but at least it has promise to get somewhere and not leave you in some sort of Groudn Hog Day existance. IWO, there is purpose and meaning to it all.
There is promise and reward in the gospel. It just doesn’t all come in the immediate way this culture has led us to expect. Or for the reasons this culture leads us to expect.
and that ,friends, is the most summarized way I have of explaining. For now.