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Monday, August 27, 2012

It is what it is....

I just came across a friend's post on Facebook in which she displayed a plaque which reads:  "It is what it is....but it will become what you make it."  You know, what we make of circumstances often reveals much more about the foundation in our lives than we realize.  What we do with a failure of another, emphasizing it or letting it go, reveals more about our heart than we often realize.  It is what it is...true enough words.  We cannot stop a runaway train, but we don't have to in its path, do we?


A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.  (Proverbs 22:3 The Message)
One of the things my pastor said this past weekend stuck with me.  He simply stated we are exercising "wisdom" when we avoid the "hot buttons" in relationships.  Now, that may not seem like rocket science for some, but how many times have we just plunged straight ahead, knowing some manner of conversation or action would "trigger" that very hot button in someone's life?  Probably more than we realize!  It is what it is!  But....what we make of it is what it will become!

In looking at our passage today, we find two parallels.  The prudent and the simpleton.  Now, we don't use these words too often in our vocabulary today, so let me give you the "today's version" of these.  The prudent are the savvy - those who have understanding and actually use it!  The simpleton are just the opposite - they are ignorant!  It is easy to see how this scripture, and my friend's quote, make sense when you understand these two contrasts.  The savvy individual actually sees the speeding train and ducks out of the way!  The ignoramus simply walks down the middle of the tracks!

I just want to take a moment to tell explore this idea displayed on my friend's recent post.  Yep, life happens - but the savvy have learned to take what it sends their way and make it into the best thing possible.  This could be put another way:  Life comes at you fast - learn to look at each challenge as an opportunity for growth, blessing, and foundation building!  My interpretation is a whole lot longer than my friend's, but I think it is what Solomon had in mind when he was attempting to guide his sons into the truths he had learned in his life.  We can see trouble coming a mile off sometimes.  If this is true, then why do we stand there, clearly in its path, and get all worked up about it coming?  

I have had relationships over the years in which it seemed NOTHING good ever came from them!  There were more "hot buttons" triggered than words of kindness or appreciation.  So, why did I keep those relationships?  Well, I actually thought they were teaching me something!  In response to their hurled accusations, I learned the difficult lesson of turning the other cheek.  Now, don't get me wrong - this was a hugely hard lesson to learn and I don't think I am finished by any means!  In response to their curtness, I had the opportunity to respond in kindness.  Yep, you guessed it - sometimes I responded more like the simpleton than the prudent!  I allowed their curt response to become something which "ruffled my feathers" instead of learning to not respond in like manner.  

I honestly believe we "get" some of these moments of life being "what it is" so we can develop some of the things God wants us to "become".  We don't see the threat of the speeding train until we are clearly in its path!  We don't see the volatility of an unkind word until we have spoken it!  I took some time this week to explore some of the "hot buttons" in the relationships I have.  For some, it is easy to see, but in others, I had to look a little harder.  Some of us "bury" those hot buttons so deep, it almost eludes us seeing them - but, boy, can we hit 'em!  

We all make something different out of what life sends our way, don't we?  Some see the speeding train as an opportunity to learn to run - others see it as an opportunity to solve the equation which will slow its progress.  What "becomes" is based on how we "see" the train - as an opportunity or as a threat!  Too many times, we "interpret" the threat - causing us to fear it rather than overcome it!  God's plan is for us to allow our "what it is" to "become something more".  I think this is probably the lesson he taught the day he asked the disciples how much food the crowd had.  In their "interpretation" they had little (5 loaves and 2 fish for a crowd of over 5,000). In his perspective, they had enough to allow it to "become" all they needed - with leftovers!

Our "what is" is just an opportunity for us to "become" something more!  It is the broken relationship which teaches us the lessons of forgiveness and the destruction of bitterness.  It is the failing health which opens our eyes to enjoying moments which previously escaped our attention.  It is the hunger of our souls which causes us to pick up our dusty Bibles and search out the hidden treasures within.  It is what it is - but it has the power to become so much more when the "it" is squarely placed in God's hands!  Just sayin....