No, this isn’t a home-improvement post… It’s more of a dealing-with-being-a-man-and-an-engineer post. 🙂
One of the things I’ve had to learn over the past almost 7 years of marriage is to resist my instinctual impulse to “fix” everything. It’s different than at work. At work, my job is being presented with problems and designing solutions. At home, it’s not so much that way. When my wife comes to me with a problem, most of the time she doesn’t want me to design an elegant solution to her problem… most of the time she just wants me to shut up and listen, sympathize with her pain/frustration/whatever, and give her a hug. Once the emotional part is over then she’s enough of an engineer, too, that we can both work out a good solution to the problem. Still, it’s dang hard to shut my mouth sometimes.
Another one lately that has prompted this internal “you don’t have to fix it” reminder has been observing a recent brouhaha played out at least a bit over the blogs and comments of my sister, my brother, his girlfriend, and some other assorted players. The big brother and engineer part of me wants to dive right in, take sides, give lots of advice, try to fix everything up so that they’re happy again. But then I think back to my high-school years… I had undue amounts of girl-anguish, people that I really disliked, frustrations with life, and the like. But nobody needed to come fix them for me… I needed to live through them, learn from them. God used them to work in my life.
I was reading in Lamentations this morning (kinda painful to read, to be honest) and I was struck by how the prophet says God allowed all this pain and anguish of His people so that they would learn a lesson and repent. Read it again sometime. It’s a short book, but there’s a lot of painful descriptions there. Life would not have been fun for the Israelites who lived through the fulfillment of that prophecy. But then in the same little book, we get the reminder – God’s mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
So Andrew, Rebecca, Amber, if you’re reading this – I’ll give my two cents’ worth of advice right here, and be done with it. 🙂 Love God and pursue Him above all else. As far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Live life one day at a time, and remember that today is only one day of maybe 30,000 in your whole life. There’s plenty left to be lived.