Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Breaking Point, or So What Do I Do Now?

There’s an old joke about a religious woman caught in a flood.  The river keeps rising to the point that the woman is forced to seek refuge on the roof of her small home.  She looks to the sky, clutches her Bible, and says, “oh Lord, if you could see it in your limitless benevolence to show mercy to an old woman like myself, I’d be eternally grateful.”  In the middle of her praying, a Red Cross boat motors up to the home and the men offer to help the woman.
“No thank you, sonny. The Lord will rescue me.”
The river keeps rising and the woman is getting nervous.  The water is reaching her knees.  Shaking her Bible towards the heavens, she yells, “uh, Lord?  I hate to bother you again but I could really use a hand here.  Please help me so I can continue to do your work down here on Earth.”  While she’s shaking her Bible, another boat motors up to the home and the men offer to help the woman. 
“That’s very kind of you boys but I’ve spoken to the Lord and I have a ride coming.”
Things are getting perilous now.  The water is approaching the woman’s shoulders and shows no sign of stopping.  She defiantly holds her Bible above the water and shouts, “your mighty Omnipotence, have mercy upon an old woman and deliver me from the rising waters you have delivered upon the land.”  Again, a boat approaches the woman and insists on bringing her to safety.  But again, she refuses.  The boat motors off and in a few minutes, the old woman drowns.
There is much consternation up in Heaven over this.  The angels approach G-d and cry, “why didn’t you listen when your faithful servant cried out for help?”
“Not listen?” exclaims G-d.  “I sent her 3 boats!”

Some people spend a lot of time seeking the meaning of life, or, at least, the meaning of their lives. They read books, take seminars, seek advice from friends, and sometimes even pray.  But the answer never seems to come.  Or maybe it does but we're too blind to see it.  Ideally, the answer would take the shape of something tangible that leaves no doubt to knowing which path to take when you come to a fork in the road.  But life is far from ideal.

I've wasted years trying to find the meaning of my life.  Convinced I took a wrong turn at some point in the past, I've looked around and spent chunks of money hoping to find that one thing that will make me stop complaining all the time.  But what if it already came?  What if I've been looking too hard for some sign that I've found the answer—or that there is no answer and I'm on the right path already?  So without that sign, I keep looking and occasionally find something that seems to be the answer.  But then I don't act on it.  It's as if the sign for which I'm looking is not only tangible, but needs to hit me on the head with a tangible baseball bat to get me to move.  What's it going to take either to get me to make a move or stop looking?

Overly dramatic portrayal
of undiscovered law
Newton's first law of motion basically states that an object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it. It's a fact of nature.  You can't change it.  Laws of nature are so fixed that insurance companies have clauses written into policies that recognize this fact.  But is it possible for a body to remain at rest even when pushed by some kind of force?  It doesn't seem possible and yet looking back, I realize that I've become that body.  I've been pushed several times and yet I haven't moved.  So is there some malicious force that won't let me move? Or is there an undiscovered law that knows when a body shouldn't move so it keeps it at rest?

I sucked at science so it's funny that I'm using it in an attempt to explain myself to myself.

It's obvious to me that something has to break.  I think I've hit that point where I need to decide because the way I've been doing all these years doesn't seem to work.  Then again, I made this decision a few weeks ago and am just now getting around to writing about it.  So much for forward motion.

It's time for me to get off my ass.  I haven't been able to do it yet, but I'm leaning forward and my feet are planted.  Anyone who sees me would think that I'm getting ready to stand up.  Or throw up.  I need to work on my facial gestures.