Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ambiguity, Idols and Socks

I am reading Forever Lily: An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China, and I came across this quote:

Ambiguity is one the most difficult things to tolerate, and the intolerance leads to poor choices. Not knowing, not knowing how something will turn out, leads to impatience for an outcome. The impatience then results in one of two actions: either a resolution is corced, or there is a move to retreat, to give up. Either way, the result cannot be optimal, for in every situation, a process is working, an intricate, complex process, which has as its goal the highest outcome, the good of the whole, which we cannot easily see or grasp. The ability to allow the process to work can be called faith, and this faith is not a belief, this faith is not passive. The self-discipline needed to overome the anxiety of ambiguity takes enormous effort to sustain.

I am so a control freak. Not in the anal-cleaner sense. I'm also not an over protective, obsessive parent, and I don't care which way you hang the toilet paper. But when it comes to controlling what happens to me, or in some cases who happens to me, I am a serious case. I want to know the happy ending. I want to know how someone will react, and I want it to be the way I want them to react. I don't want to have to deal with ambiguity about whether someone will want to be my friend, or will be able to meet my needs or honor my boundaries; what I want instead is to get a promise from God that my life will turn out happy.

I am smart enough to know certainty is a hocus pocus illusion, an idol doll in a frosted window. I may have moments when I am in Love without it, but temptation is sly, and I open my mouth and let hell fly out in search of some measure of control or certainty, and the only thing that is certain is that my idol is porcelain, with a highly flammable dress.

I am hoping to be wise someday. Peaceful, unnattached, fully available, with laughing eyes that learned compassion instead of despair. I'm going to go skinny dipping when my body billows like seaweed, and by the grace of Grace, I'm going to love the socks off of life, even when it stinks, and I'm gonna learn to bide my time in the Presence, allowing this process that has as its goal, the highest good. The good in God.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Jemila, I tend to be a control freak in so many areas, including how to make the bed and which way to hang the toilet paper! But those are inconsequential compared to my desire to control the response of others to me.

I love the imagery you use here. It speaks to me and challenges me.

Blessing to you, Jemila. My prayers are with you.