Monday, December 20, 2010

Swiftly Home

I've been thinking a lot lately about the choices I make, the choices others make and the experiences that those choices lead too.

I've spent most of my life believing that the experiences we have are good or bad and that it's all tied into making good and bad choices. I have been guilty many times, of thinking my choices and resultant experiences were the good choices and that others, who were living life differently then I, were, "Doing it wrong." I have been happy to, "tsk tsk" them and all too willing to point out the error of their ways so they might benefit from a set of experiences more similar to mine.

I have, on the other hand, looked at someones life situation and their experiences as better then mine. I have scolded myself for not being more like so and so. I have spent many hours trying to figure out how to make different choices so my life could be as wonderful as I perceived other lives were.

Mostly though I have gone back to my past over and over and over beating myself up for choices and experiences I have lived and wondering, till I'm sick of being in my own skull, how much better my life would be if I had just not made certain choices.

The past nearly three years our family has had many experiences that I never expected to have. It is easy, and most would say important, for us to look at these experiences as bad, wrong and painful to ourselves and others. I have gone from feeling like a victim, to being angry, to setting impossibly ridiculous lists of goals and precautions to prevent these experiences from ever happening again and to fix the pain caused.

A few days ago I was trying to deal with the emotions of handling it all and trying to figure out what the, "Right" thing to do was. I had not been awake long and was still in bed, wrapped in a blanket, near tears trying to figure it all out. #7 burst through the bedroom door, flipped over the foot board of the bed, and dove at me for a hug. As soon as he caught sight of my face he stopped and asked, "Mom, what's wrong?"

I briefly explained that I was trying to figure out some things and that people were hurting and asked him to pray for them and me. He rolled over closed his eyes and silently prayed. After a minute or so he sat up, curled up in my lap and asked, "Mom, why do we say bless us to get swiftly home ?"

"Do you mean, get safely home?" I asked.

"Oh!" He said, gave me a hug and kiss, jumped off the bed and ran out to play.

I can't get that thought out of my head. "Bless us to get swiftly home."

We come to this earth to receive a mortal body, have experiences that teach us to know our spiritual selves, to yield flesh to the spiritual self, so that we may return home to God, literally at some point and to create in our fleshly tabernacles the peace of our heavenly home.

I have cautioned my children over and over about choices and experiences that I have deemed unsafe. I have held them back, scolded them, and attempted to force them into certain choices and experiences. I have done this, I tell them and myself, for their safety; because, we all know that you just can't learn anything good from bad choices. I've worked really hard to set them on the right path. The only path, my path. I have cautioned not only my children but many others against choices they were making.I have spent much of my life miserably convinced that I knew the safest way home. Until a sweet son innocently suggested a new perspective.

What if safely isn't the answer? What if safely home should be swiftly home and what if all our experiences are bringing us swiftly home?

Maybe I am too quick to label choices as good and bad, maybe they are just choices that lead to the experiences that teach me of my spiritual nature? What if the factor determining that an experience is good or bad is what I learn? What if every choice I make is like a stepping stone in the river of experience, and we each are connected to our Heavenly home by a river flowing between God and us? Would I sit prudently on the bank, avoiding the swift, swirling waters for safety's sake?

If I knew that leaping from rock to rock, was the way home to Father would I stand flat footed on a big rock in my river, proud of my choice, sure I had avoided a terrible experience. Would I proudly look over at other river runners, and shout safe navigational instructions? Would I mock or scold when a jump landed them in the current and carried them, bumping along? Would I forsake the wet, rocky path of my river, scramble up on the bank to sit scared and shivering, agonizing over the slippery rocks, and wild currents.

My personal river has, at times, felt like a happy little brook until it merges with another river. Suddenly we are sharing currents and eddies, rocks, submerged logs, mud and turbulence. As the volume of water increases, we may both feel we are tumbling down stream to fast, out of control. Each may lose sight of their personal connection with God. Then we may begin to blame others insisting that their choices are determining our experience. We feel that we're drowning and flail helplessly, clinging to any little floating scrap of debris.

That's where I am, clinging, treading until every muscle aches.

But you know... I'm learning. I'm learning, from the warm, dry, days and the wet, scary, slippery days. I'm thinking that if God can offer a little peace though the simple faith of a 6 year old then surely I can keep leaping from rock to rock, choice to choice, learning from each experience and finding the grace to allow others their choices and experiences with love and compassion. I'm tired of judging, overwhelmed with worrying, ready to look to Father and love living each moment of my journey swiftly home.

I remembered this picture by Greg Olsen after re-reading this post. I could have just posted the picture it sums up my thoughts so beautifully. Greg Olsen, Fear Not


Carrot Jello said...

Oh man.
You made me cry.

Heffalump said...

Food for thought...thanks for posting this!

Yvonne said...

WOW. I love this so much. Thank you.

Mummy McTavish said...

Stinkin' great big hugs for you! and for your little guy and his offhand question that gave your weary mind the help it needed. LOVED this post, will pray for lots more challenges for you:-) ... or maybe for you to see the learning and growing that you've done through the challenges you've already faced... BIG FAT CHRISTMAS HUGS!

LeShel said...

love you and this post and truth and light and how you encompass both. sending people your way!

Barbaloot said...

Hooray for #7. Hope things start getting better for you!

Nonna Beach said...

Oh, what a touching and teary eyed post...I have had my own "wrapped in a blanket" moments when I retreated from everyone to find some peace and then get down on my knees to pray for whoever or whatever was causing pain or grief because of choices made.

It is not easy sometimes but I have found along with "swiftly Home" ( so sweet ) is the phrase "Return with Honor" We have that plaque on our front door so as we all leave the house, it's the last thing we see and it reminds us to choose the right.

My darling friend, I hope things get better for you and you and all your handsome men have a beautiful Christmas !!!


Cowboy mom said...

Have you ever watched the utube movie Going home?

Thanks for your experiences!!

Cowboy mom said...

I meant, Thanks for the choice of experiences (I guess)

You know, while Kayaking It amazed me when riding upside down in a rapid that If I would just open my eyes everything was beautiful and peaceful and had purpose. I loved the rapids. everything that seemed out of control had purpose and beauty, deep down.

Hang in there and may we all get swiftly home!!

mandi said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Why do life lessons have to be so HARD? Boo. You have a beautiful way with words. Hope you guys have a good Christmas. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I too have been heavy laden with worry about mine and others choices. I once told a co-worker I was bad. She quickly held me and said, " No you made a bad choice but you are not bad!" I have always held onto that. Yes, I still worry , more often than not sometimes, yet I know that I am not a bad person and that Christs arms are forever reaching out to pull me out of the swift raging currents. The shared experiences and guidence for others is also there for a purpose. You of all people have taught me how to just let things "be." Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could help ourselves through our currents. If you could only step outside your worries and show your self, just as you have shown me the way. I am sorry but regardless of your choices and worry, YOU my most dearest friend have been blessed with the knowlege and amazing ablilty to help others on there way. So, again through sharing this post of your choices and worries you have helped another back on to yet another stepping stone acorss that ever changing river. I love you and hold you in my heart even more this day and always. MMBL

Lanae said...

my sister in law sent me over to your blog. i have four handsome little men that call me mom and I love it! thanks for your post and your perspective.
good luck with all life brings in the next little while.

Klin said...

Came from Carrot's place. This is beautiful. Profound. And very true. Thank you for writing it.

mindyluwho said...

"Swiftly home". I like it. Very beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

thank you Susan. . .so beautifully said! I love how you think and write. I always enjoy browsing your blog. I wish you many days of happiness on your journey swiftly home! :) Sheree G.

Our Family

Our Family