Be careful what you wish for.
At this point, I just wish I could learn to give those old clichés their due before they have time to come around and bite me. Growing up has been, for me, the long process of learning just how true old maxims (like the above) are. All those over-used lines about love, life, death, joy, sorrow…we capture the most important lessons and milestones of human life in groan-inducing one-liners that tend to cheapen the whole experience of living. They also make it difficult, at least for the cynics, to avoid typical pitfalls, since we can’t bring ourselves to take the sayings seriously. They’re cute for Hallmark cards and G-rated family movies, but c’mon–they have no relevance to real life.
Ha. Ha. Ha. That is the sound of hollow, bitter laughter.
Just three months ago I was feeling stuck in a rut and wishing for change. Now my whole world is changing so fast I hardly know what to expect from one hour to the next over the course of a day. One month ago I was really getting tired of this whole “single” thing and praying for movement forward. I know many wonderful men, I thought. Couldn’t at least one of them be just a little bit interested? I’m not asking for much, I insisted. Even a “texter” would be fine, I allowed myself to think. We won’t go into the experience that pulled me out of that pattern of thinking; suffice it to say, I’ve been sufficiently jolted and have returned to my previous deep contentment with Right Where I Am Right Now: blissfully single.
Then there are one or two relationships in my life that I’ve been asking God to help me cope with. I’ve even gone so far as to request that he set about quietly removing them from my life. Well, he seems to be okay with removing them, and the process has been quiet. But I forgot to specify, “quiet, non-awkward, and leaving as little mess as possible.” Suffice it to say, it has been quite the adventure, with not a few moments of stammering silence and that horrible feeling of your face going bright red.
Finally, a recent long look at my spiritual life has pulled me up short. I’ve been wishing–in some sense–for more challenges, for a deepening in my life with Christ; but I have to admit, the problem isn’t what He’s offering (of course). The problem lies with me. I’ve been getting complacent and allowing myself to nod off on spiritual matters. Daily mass and prayer? Oh sure. I mean, at least I’m physically there. But where is my heart?
I guess that’s what that old saying is really driving at, isn’t it? “Be careful what you wish for” is just another way of saying: be careful what you throw your heart after.
Regrets? No, not really. God is good, and every experience is another opportunity to grow closer to him…and to grow up just a little bit more. To borrow an expression, “It’s all good.”
But lessons learned? Heck yeah. Next time I find myself getting comfortable, I’m going to enjoy it; it means Something Big is probably lurking just around the corner.