This week I confess that I tried my hardest to portray a certain image. I had the opportunity to showcase to others through the media, a little of who I am, what I believe and what I do. I was aware that I wanted to portray a certain aspect of me, and not necessarily show others all of who I am.
I don’t know about you, but because of this, I tried to be as prepared as possible, so that my portrayal would be as close to perfect as it could be. As is usually the case when I get prepared for something, the unexpected occurs.
This time I was engaged in our final media push before www.targanewfoundland.com. I had prepared cameras, routes, and I was fairly confident of my abilities. I didn’t count on the challenges of summer construction and battery failure.
By the end of each of the four media opportunities, I had much to be thankful for, and yet I quietly analyzed what went wrong, how it hadn’t gone as planned, and my frustration with the unknown.
After the last media opportunities were completed, I took a little time to reflect. Even beyond the quick reflection, (and after seeing the final edited results) I realize now that for me, this is quite the analogy of life. In the course of my existence, I have learned to expect the unexpected. I have faced detours in my ‘plans’ for life. At each of these junctions, I have been faced with decisions. At times these have been light and perhaps superfluous ones (what? no chocolate dip for my soft serve ice cream?); other times these unexpected changes have brought about major shifts in my life plan, my future.
I realize now that I need to be flexible. Life is a work in progress. . . At times the detours and bumps in the road bring me to a beautiful oasis, a place, or an encounter with someone who can transform my life.
I’m sure there are many more analogies that one can use to describe this feeling and experience. I almost feel quite sure, as well, that at some level each and everyone meets the unexpected and has to make a choice. This can be so simple and beautiful when the unexpected is joyful, meaningful, and wanted: Presents, a birth, new love, new opportunities. This is far harder when in the context of pain, loss, disease, injury, oppression, injustice.
I cannot forget that in the times that I have been faced with detours, or when I feel that the path is crumbling under my feet, there is a great need for me to stop, take a breath, and be present. Be present to myself, and be present to the One who created me.
When I encounter the unexpected, my temptation is to keep the encounter all inside of me. The good, the bad, the indifferent acts all occurring because I am who I am. That is not the case. When I stop, I realize that there’s so much more to life than me. I breathe in and remind myself I am continually in the presence of God. I breathe out and I recognize that the Creator is present in far more ways and places than just in my selfish mind and heart.
I am so pleased that my media encounters this week were positive and life giving. I feel blessed that in this time I encountered six people who live transforming and vital lives in the community. I feel blessed that the mistakes and challenges, the unexpected circumstances forced me to pause and take stock of who I am in relation to all the rest of this beautiful world that God has created.