“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Life is What Happens To You When You're Making Other Plans

Life happened to me yesterday as I smoked a brisket on the grill. As I tended the fire and put packets of soaked wood chips over the burner, Michael came outside & we sat down and talked. The girls were grocery shopping. We guys were just hanging around the house--smoking a brisket.

The conversation was one that cannot be planned or orchestrated. I can't even remember the question that started it. But we spent the following half hour or so talking about what life had offered us or, more often, thrown at us in the past several years. We talked of lessons learned, God's grace and mercy, and wondered at the opportunities for which God is preparing us.

This morning I realized that this conversation was one of those moments that I've so often missed because I was distracted or doing something else. Whenever I write goals, one that always comes out is that I want to share the lessons God teaches me to my family. But whenever I try to create such an opportunity it never seems to work. A skilled writer would likely add a significant metaphor at this point to brilliantly illustrate his thesis, but alas, I can think of none. I know there's one out there, but right now it eludes me. Perhaps an elusive metaphor is the point I want to illustrate. I can't force it to appear. It alights as if unbidden and if I force it to come, it sits in the sentence stilted and awkward.

So it is with conversations of significance. They appear and offer their opportunity for a depth of connection that cannot be forced. I shared with Michael the lessons of the last 5 years that led up to a turning point in my life this August. He shared his own journey and what God was up to in his family. We don't know for sure what it is for which God is preparing us, but He's up to something, that's for sure.

It is telling that the value of such moments in our lives can only be seen in retrospect. Sometimes I've looked back and saw times I've missed opportunities. I'm glad that this time I didn't.

1 comment:

Dad said...

Thanks for your observations, Eric. I also wonder how many opportunities I have missed by concentrating too much on my plans rather than God's. But, as you clearly show, the times when we do experience these encounters are precious.