Time is precious and time spent with the ones you love is absolutely priceless. My parents were in town this weekend. I wish that I could see them more often. I haven’t seen them in two years. Almost all of my friends have parents that live just down the road or a day’s drive away at most. Mine happen to live over three thousand miles away. I sometimes feel like I live in a completely different world than they do. In a lot of ways I do. They live in a log cabin complete with solar power, an outhouse, cold and snowy winters, and some of the most beautiful mountains you could ever wish to see in this lifetime. I live in a huge city comparatively (it’s not as big as New York mind you) but compared to the small town that they live and the general flow of life is crazy and far too fast paced compared to the quieter life, in the country. It can so overwhelming to in an environment that is unfamiliar than the one that one is unaccustomed to. I have to admit that moving all the way to Birmingham almost five years ago was scary and I could only hope that I had made the right choice. I had to have faith that I would be just fine on my own, in a city that I barely knew. Sure that’s not the least bit daunting. I was so wrong, it was so completely daunting. The world of the unknown was beyond frightening. I know that for a season, I felt as if I hadn’t made the right choice. What does one do when they feel that way and how do you know that you have made the right choice?
In church we were talking about falling short and not being enough for God, that we as human beings can and will fail. We will never be enough. Not exactly the happy ending you wanted to hear right? No one wants to hear that they have failed at something or heaven forbid, we manage to fail another human being. Knowing that you are not enough and that you will fail is a horrible feeling. Failing in my book is never an option. But I am human and I will fail. No matter how many time I strive for perfection I know that perfection is never actually going to be an attainable thing. Life always seems to have a way of teaching me this lesson time and time again. It is always humbling and each time this lesson is brought to light, I seem to learn all over again that failure is a part of life. In truth if we never failed, we would never succeed. We will all fall short of where we want to be. Be it a life goal, what if it’s not being who we thought we wanted to be, not having the career we wanted, hurting the ones we love, not realizing when we needed to be more supportive, or maybe its the ever familiar feeling of never being enough. That is where the ultimate lesson of love comes in and sweeps us off our feet. The fact that God loved so much that he sent His one and only son to give his life for us. So that we would be given the gift of grace. His walk on earth taught us the ultimate lesson of love and what true love really is. With that gift and that gift alone we learn that failure only becomes a part of what makes us who we were meant to be all along. Letting go of the expectations that we all deem so important seems almost impossible at times. But what if decide to let go of said expectations? What door does that open for us?
So many relationships fail because of the high expectations we set for the ones that we love. We forget that no one can read minds. At least at this point no one can. We may perceive a certain expectation that a friend or family member fails to execute in a particular way that we perceive. We then get it in our heads that they have on purpose failed us and had no idea what we wanted to see from them in the first place. How did they know what our expectation was? It’s not as if they can simply read our mind and instantaneously do what we have foresee as an attainable “thing’ they should just know to do for us. Without communication, and a clear desire to put the other persons want and needs before our own, we will continue to see only our expectations. I many times forget that my expectations are not going to always align with others around me. We were never meant to want the same things that others around us want. Life would be so dull and boring if everyone wanted the same things. We would never grow or change as individual people if we didn’t take the opportunity to learn from others around us. We learn on a day to day basis how to be selfless and how to love as each person that we come into contact with. Loving others is not always the easiest thing to do. Loving someone is a choice. Not giving up when the going gets tough is be where the true challenge lies. When someone we love says an unkind word or hurts us it is not always an easy thing forgive them. Love has to take a front seat when forgiving is the last thing that we want to do. If we don’t forgive it eats us up inside and we begin to question everything about the person we are mad at. We somehow expect them to know why we are mad at them. We want them to just know the expectations we have set for them. They however will never know what it is we expect of them,, or why we are mad in the first place if we don’t take the time to communicate where we are coming from. They may have set a a completely different set of expectations for us in return. We unknowingly fail them and they unknowingly do same to us in return. Perhaps it really is about letting go of the perceived expectations and taking a birds eye view of the entire picture.
Life I sometimes imagine looks like a giant map full of varying roads, hills, valleys and mountains. There are traffic lights, stop signs, and near misses and inevitable accidents as we drive down each road. Some loop round to some of the most amazing adventures and lead to new experiences we would have never seen had we not taken the road in the first place.. Others lead to quick decisions and at times uncertainty. Sometimes some roads may lead to dead ends and we have to pick up the pieces and see where it is that we will go next. Sometimes it is true we fail and we don’t make it down the road we thought was at one point so very important. Perhaps looking at it from the birds eye view we come the realization that it was the road we were meant to take all along. If we truly seek where it is that God is calling does the road really matter in the the long run. The destination is what truly matters and what makes life worth living.
So here is to a week of knowing we can and do fail sometimes but in the long run the gift of grace and the agape love that we have as a gift everyday (so long as we choose to have it) makes life more than worth the bumpy roads we may traverse and the people that we have at our sides as we travel tis world make all the difference in the world. Time is precious and the ones that we choose to travel with can make the trip we take, all the more worth the effort it took to take us there. Never forget that though one person is never going to be perfect they were put into your life for a reason. As we all continue learn what it truly means to forgive remember you never walk the roads of life completely alone.