Catch all the foxes,
those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!
Song of Solomon 2:15
I can hardly write this post today. Life has been so lifey lately and the truth is I am tired of feeling. I am tired of caring so much. I am too used to feeling nothing and getting by with smiles and operating in the neutral zone.
I woke to a string of texts on a chat thread and as best I can tell from the messages one of my friends slipped last night after a solid six years of continuous sobriety. My heart is broken for her.
“It could happen to you,” an old-timer always says recalling a warning someone gave him decades ago.
I’m feeling terribly sick over it. It’s a heavy feeling.
There it is. Feeling again.
Why is it that the BIG things in life we can do? It’s like our brains grasp the magnitude of childbirth and the death of a parent. We can boldly suffer illness ourselves or bear with someone else.
Yet why is it that often the little foxes are the ones that spoil the vine? It’s the small, nagging nothingness of life that can take us out. When everything seems to be going okay we get complacent. Bored. Irritable.
I believe that often we do what we need to do to get out of pain and then we stop doing those things. OR we keep doing those things and we forget their importance and we take them for granted.
Like when I recently did a 16-week body transformation. I committed 100% and holy moley did I get some great results. I even have a before and after pic to prove it. And now…yeah it’s been like months since I’ve worked out. And have my results stuck? Ummmm….not so much.
As I’m processing this all right now I am asking myself what can be done? How can we safeguard ourselves from not just slips in the physical sense but also in the spiritual sense?
And I’m not sure I have an answer.
Maybe part of it is appreciating when you’re at the top of your game but also remaining humble in heart. Not allowing pride to sneak in and tell you that you are fine and you can just coast for awhile.
Maybe part of it is keeping a focus on helping others. We hear it all the time, but I believe helping others is often as much about us as it is about them. When I went to jail a week ago and spent time with some of the women inmates I left with a feeling of deep gratitude for all I have.
Even driving my old van home with the windows down and the music cranked gave me a renewed sense of freedom. I GET to drive, OUTSIDE, WHEREVER I WANT. Wow. These women don’t have that small privilege.
And maybe part of it is remembering ‘It Could Happen to YOU!”
The human condition is frail. Weak. Fickle. Flawed. We are all doing the best we can. I drove for decades in states of mind where I should have never been driving. I too could have ended up in jail. It is only by the grace of God I didn’t. And I don’t know why it wasn’t me.
Why not me? Right?
When you look at someone who is suffering due to their own choices or the circumstances life has dealt them, remember that you could be them. And someday you might be. The student can become the master, but the master can also end up as the student.
I’ll close with this scripture as our prayer today, for ourselves and for others who need our help. Keep up the faith and know that there is a purpose, YOU have a purpose and sometimes (probably all the time) pain is the path to purpose.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
Today I will appreciate the sun. I will thank God for my sobriety. I will see who I can help who might need a word of encouragement or a strong hug. I will try to remain humble in heart and know that but for the grace of God go I.
I’m here for you.
UPDATE at 7:19am- I just heard back. She’s fine. And the text was stress related. It’s also a good reminder to not jump to conclusions…without all the facts. Nonetheless, it put me in a state of mind to really dig out this lesson this morning. And for that I’m grateful!