The Hasidim have a tale about a rabbi named Meir
who used to worry that God would reproach him
in his final days and say, “Meir! Why did you not
~ Poet David Kirby, “Mr. Dithers Explains It All”
The problem I have – and this is part of leading a “workaround” life – is that I am painfully aware I did not become who I thought I would become. I mean, seriously, this did not work out the way I envisioned it would, on SO many levels.
I’m pretty sure if I had another chance, I would skip over the pesky derailments and embarrassing failures. I would try harder to orchestrate things so that my life was more honorable and certainly more significant – in my mind, I would be a “better” person, if I could do it all over.
Does that mean I have not “become Diane” and that I should expect a divine reproach someday?
I was talking to my brother the other day about how as parents we try so hard to protect our children, to keep them from making the same mistakes we made. We want to spare them the pain and embarrassment we suffered, the setbacks and failures we brought on ourselves. And if we’re honest, there’s a part of us that wants to correct our own screw-ups through our kids which is of course, impossible. Maybe it’s a kind of redemption that we are trying to engineer for ourselves: a do-over through our children.
Wow, that is so NOT Biblical, but it is pretty common. That hovering and overprotecting is where we get the term “helicopter parents”.
I think that desire to protect our sons and daughters comes from a good place, a tender heart-shaped place. But my brother, wise sage that he is, reminded me that kids have to make their own mistakes and learn from them like we did so they can become who they are supposed to be. He pointed out the application in my own life, how if I had done things differently, I wouldn’t be who I am now. And then he observed that my life has turned out pretty well and I’m in a good place, so it’s not all bad. (Thanks, bro.)
Yes, there are many things I would change if I could, but news flash: It’s not going to happen. This is my workaround life and it’s not perfect but, really, is anyone’s?
So about that divine reproach: I don’t think God is going to scold me for not becoming Diane. I think perhaps He will reveal to me the many ways He creatively redeemed all those blunders and made me exactly who He knew I would become all along.
And I think He’s going to tell me again how wildly He loves me, just the way I am.
Are you living a workaround life? Is there a part of you that has ever wondered whether God is going to berate you someday for not “turning out” better? For not using your one and only life a little more wisely? Your thoughts and comments are invited ~