Lately I was accused of being a “New Age,” “Oprah” type, which is a no-no in the non-progressive part of the Christian community I used to be a part of. I’m not anymore, but it still pissed me off, no one wants to be labeled, right?
I was thinking of this today as I pondered the interesting acronym, SNAFU. The origin of the acronym is from the 1940s Navy, and originally had to do with the status of telegraphs! It means Situation Normal, All Fouled Up. I believe the military may have a more colorful description now, which was in my mind all day. Basically, it means chaos. You see, I had finally bitten the bullet and made plans to take care of some business I had been putting off. I was all geared up to go and do what I needed to do. For some reason I called to make sure I would be on time, and interestingly, the appointment had been cancelled the day before. OMG, I know I’m not the only one who ignores voicemail, am I? So, SNAFU.
But really, who decided that there is a “situation normal?” When did we take the beauty of life’s chaos and try to make it normal? Life is a miracle, it’s not normal! (I am talking to those of us with first world concerns here. Those who have never had to stare into the barrel of a gun, or fight for their lives on a daily basis. Those are stories I cannot speak to.)
Regular life. We bend it with our plans and projections. We spend copious hours in complaining conversations about all the things that didn’t add up right day by day. We try to control it instead of living it. We fear loss; of time, money and sleep. We use protective walls and defensive measures in our fear of loving or hurting. We negotiate and medicate ourselves into choosing easier paths. Ok, fine, maybe it’s just me, but I doubt that.
I was annoyed at first about the cancelled appointment, but then realized, hey I’m dressed might as well go do that other thing I have been putting off. Once I did that, I discovered that the order was messed up. This “other” thing will help my position for that first thing. (I know, I’m talking in riddles like Dr. Seuss today, that’s me trying to keep a modicum of privacy. Sorry.) Ultimately, it worked out well. And it makes me wonder if we embraced chaos a little more, and had an underlying confidence that ultimately, stuff works out, no matter how we originally planned it, we could live each day with a little more joy and a lot less worry. Not an apathetic “c’est la vie,” but an enthusiastic, “carpe diem.” Just see what comes and roll with it, ya know?
As for myself, I’m more euphemistically “old age” than anything new. My mantra is “by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:10). This position is a choice I make. It is absolutely NOT that there is a predetermined plan or “everything happens for a reason” drivel. It just means that life is a good gift from the Creator. Not to be bent to my will, but lived as fully and as joyfully and as best as I can.
Don’t get me wrong, things do happen and there are reasons for them, I’m not blind. But what I do and what I say and how I react to life is a divine privilege given over to me. I wish to make good use of it.