This has been a theme that’s come up all around me. From my friends, my clients, and I just found myself saying this out loud to myself.
Now, before I tell you what’s been happening around me, let me say that there have been a few very unexpected, very cool things happen and I one hundred percent attribute it to God taking care of my needs. Even before I knew I needed it.
So, what does that mean, “everything happens”? Well, it’s kind of complex. Are you ready? Everything. Happens. Okay, yes, it’s that simple. All kinds of things and everything you could think of is going to happen and be a part of the human experience. Unfortunately, we have a habit of noticing all the bad things that happen to us in our life, and rarely stop to count our blessings, as the saying goes. But here’s really the idea: because we live in a fallen world, because Adam and Eve’s sin ushered in evil with the consequences of their choices and corrupted the perfection of their physical being, we are now subject to disease and death and evil of all kinds. It’s all around us and none of us will be untouched. Plus, we live in the reality that material things breakdown, or get broken, or just wear out.
And stuff just happens. Unexpected things. All a part of the human experience.
Just the other day, I was driving to a friend’s beach house. I decided to go the scenic route that went through some back-road country towns. I thought it would be a lovely drive. And it was. Until, up ahead on this two-lane road, I noticed the approaching car had stopped in the middle of the road. A family of deer were crossing. Are they a family? What do you call them? A herd of deer? I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. But it felt like a family at the time. So that’s what we’re going to go with. You don’t care, right? Anyway, I was far enough away that I was able to slow significantly without having to stop myself, and I watched the family of 5 or 6 elegantly cross towards my side of the road. When they were safely across, I noticed they stopped and one of the deer looked back to the other side of the road. As I followed her gaze, I saw the very last deer that was significantly lagging behind begin to cross the road. But for me it was too late. Even though I wasn’t going very fast, the timing was such that I couldn’t brake fast enough and I hit that deer. It hit the front corner of my car and flew onto my hood and over to the side of the road in the grass. As soon as my car stopped I jumped out to see if the deer was okay. Literally she’s standing there looking at me. We exchanged looks they may have conveyed “sorry,” at least that was my intent anyway, and she darted into the brush. Thankfully perfectly fine. Maybe a little bruised and confused, but perfectly fine. But my car, that was another matter. The front headlight was busted out and the corner of the hood was completely smashed in. And where she had crossed over my hood, it was dented in several places. Fortunately, my windshield did not break even though she left a dirty, smeared mess and a few hairs behind. All in all, the car was still functioning so I continued on my way, happy to finally get off those country roads and onto to the freeway. I’ve never hit a deer before. I heard they were sturdy, but seriously, I can’t believe they can do so much damage. Their bodies look so delicate and svelte that it doesn’t seem like they could make such a serious dent. But honestly, I’m so thankful because if that deer was hurt I would’ve had to figure out a way to get it in my car to take it to the nearest vet. Which, who knows where that would’ve been. Anyway, my heart could not have taken it. I think she knew that and made sure she showed me she was okay. That’s my story, anyway.
But back to the topic of this episode: Everything happens. Deer run across the road at inopportune times. Cars get smashed. And now need to be repaired. Rental cars will get rented. And new, unexpected bills will have to be paid. There will inevitably be one inconvenience after another. Because everything happens. And this is the way of our world. This is our reality. And the question is, in the reality of life that you have, how do you want to experience it? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be? How do you want to show up? What do you want to be able to do? How do you want to be able to react/respond? What kind of human experience do you want to have in this reality that is your life, knowing that everything happens?
I’ll be honest and tell you that my first response was, and I’m pretty sure I texted my friend and said this, “Really? REALLY? Can I just please get a break?” Yes, it seems like indeed everything happens all at the same time. The washing machine completely explodes and is unrepairable, so you have to buy a new one. The incessant computer issues that you thought you were finally behind you are back and the computer in back in the service department again…for a week…again. Everything happens. And these, in the scheme of things, are just minor irritants. But I want to throw up my hands anyway. I’m so over all these human experiences. Anyone with me? I could’ve let any one of these things derail me. I could’ve let the deer experience ruin my weekend, thinking through the whole mess; Ruminating on the expenses and the cash I’m going to have to fork over. Cash I certainly could’ve used for a vacation. Thinking about the hassle that it’s going to be to get my car in the shop and get a rental car. Such a hassle. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing.
I could let the events of hitting that deer play over and over in my head, beating myself up for not stopping…just in case. For not being more careful. All of these could begin to bring me down a messy path, taking up way too much mental energy. Beating myself up. Thinking through all the “what ifs”. Allowing my brain to focus on all the things that have been happening of late and create a narrative that “I just can’t get a break.” Because everything is happening. And the truth is it won’t stop. So, what do I do? I stop. I stop my brain from running the film script that I can’t get a break. I stop it from catastrophizing everything. And then I get to decide what kind of experience I want to have here.
Because see, the reality is that you could see all of these things as an opportunity for refinement; to let it change you; better you. You could use it as curriculum, as my friend calls it, for life. Your life. And that curriculum is the modality used to teach you, grow you, even change your heart so you look and act more like Jesus than like yourself. So that you move through life with a greater sense of peace and calm than stress and pressure. So that you find the silver lining, or recognize how it could be so much worse (if you need to get some right perspective). So that you make room for what’s really important in your life, the stuff that really matters. And then gratitude comes in. Patience comes. A sense of yourself and your connection to the eternal One and to eternity returns.
The late Dallas Willard said, “We are unceasing spiritual beings with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.” He said, “Your life is your opportunity to participate in the cosmic drama of God’s eternal plan for the most glorious universe possible.” He goes on, “Your life is God’s paint brush on the canvas of history. You are here as part of an eternal plan of an infinite God. You are yourself an eternal never dying spirit. You are never going to cease to be, so if you are planning on that, change your plans. God has put you here in this point in time and space for you to create with Him that part of the universe that makes up your life.”
So, when you hear the phrase, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience” in spiritual psychology, they’ve almost got it right. We are unceasing spiritual beings having a human experience until we meet our eternal destiny. There will come a time when we cease to be human and are fully spirit. The Bible tells us that at that point, our human experience will have greatly impacted the experience our eternal spirit has. Second Corinthians 4, verses 17 and 18, The Voice translation, says, “You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.” Other supporting verses include Matthew 6:20, Luke 6:23, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Matthew 5: 10-12, and 2 Timothy 4:8 just to name a few. So, this gives us pause to consider the stuff that’s really important in our life, the stuff that really matters. The stuff which lives on and on.
The Voice translation of Psalm 139 verses 23 and 24 say, “Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.”
Friend, let me ask you again: In the reality of the life that you have, right now, how do you want to experience it? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be? How do you want to show up? How do you want to be able to react or respond? What kind of human experience do you want to have in this reality that is your life? It’s for you to choose at any given moment. You’re in control of that, you know. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). You get to choose how the human experience shapes you for your eternal destiny when everything happens.
Hey friend, if you’re like me and you feel like everything is happening all at the same time and you’d like some help walking through it, I’d love to be your Christian Life Coach. To find out more about Life Coaching and how it would work for you, book a free 30-minute call on my calendar. The link is in the show notes.
Also, don’t forget to get the Guide that will help you work through this topic on your own. The link is in the show notes, as well.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.
All kinds of things and everything you could think of is going to happen and be a part of the human experience of life. Because we live in a fallen world, we are now subject to disease and death and evil of all kinds. We also live in the reality that material things breakdown, or get broken, or just wear out.
Sometimes I just wanted to throw up my hands. I’m so over all these human experiences.
But everything happens. This is our reality. The question is, in the reality of life that you have, how do you want to experience it? You get to choose! Choose wisely because your future depends upon it! Let me show you what I mean. Join me today as we talk about what to do when everything happens.
Get the work-alone Guide here: https://www.triciazody.com/guide.
Read the Podcast transcript here: https://www.triciazody.com/podcasttranscripts
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