The Road Taken by NOT Robert Frost

It’s warm, not quite hot, and it’s humid, but there’s a slight breeze to alleviate the stifled air. The slightly overgrown path snakes downward towards the water, making the city feel more jungle, less concrete. That’s it! I feel less concrete. These Saturdays slumber on slowly as they press me in to learn to stop. Stop making, stop producing, stop demanding, stop doing, and simply be. Sabbath.

I love this city. I love how the old parks make it feel like this place is stuck in between worlds, the grit of reality and the magic of fantasy. Old poets, playwrights, authors, song writers, and movie makers will convince you the same. New York is always ready for adventure. Even on these slow days, anything can happen. You can be anywhere. Anyone. So why do I feel so trapped in me?

My problem? I have the sensibilities of an artist, I want words that wax and wane, describing my days as if they are pages or scenes or stanzas or verses. Even writing these thoughts I am pressured to present them with pomp and circumstance. Each Instagram Post illuminating the pieces of an imaginary existence. I can’t even write a blog without sounding pretentious and indulgent.

I am not imaginary. My life is not fantasy.

I am real.

And sometimes that’s the trouble. There’s no plotted course, there’s no perfect next step. Where is my arc taking me? Am I a flat character in someone else’s narrative? I should get to the point.

I am real.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.

I am responsible for what I do. I am responsible for my decisions. I don’t have a script. I am not a victim of my life. I am responsible. I deal with the repercussions of my actions.

Now, I have a good life. I think there are many decisions I chose right. But how can I know for sure?

If I was the hero of a story I would have a clear course, a path from A to Z. Defeat the monster. Get the girl. But who is she? Does she want to be get? Be gotten? She has her own story. So what if the girl decides she doesn’t want this hero? Does she want the black smith? Is she the hero? Am I even in her story?

See, it’s getting muddy.

There’s no clear cast. I am the hero. I am the mentor. I am the plucky sidekick. I am farmer #2. I am the villain. I am the son. I am the brother. I am the friend. I am the crush. I am the crushed. I am the actor. I am the director. I am the stage hand. I am the barista. I am the grandson. I am the supervisor. I am the coach. I am the coffee roaster. I am the roommate. Who am I in my story?

Who are the others in my story? Who stays? Who is supposed to leave?

Stories are good because they teach us lessons, but the best teacher is experience, it is also the hardest.

You see why it’s easier to cloud my thoughts. Fill the space with activity. With things. With other people’s worries. With work. With watching other’s lives through a 6″ screen. With reading someone else’s story?

 

 

silence

 

 

Can you tell I have a flair for the melodrama?

That’s my problem I suppose. My brain sees everything in technicolor and life is a more subdued hues. I am too scared to make a decision because the consequences.

What if it never happens?

Well what if it does?

And what’s the worst that happens if it doesn’t?

I suppose it is less either/or and more in between or and. And maybe I’m making this bigger than it ought to be and I am so worried about making the wrong decision, I make no decision at all. I don’t live in a fantasy, but what if I forget to even live in reality? I suppose I should get more comfortable in the nebulous.

 

Sometimes I wish God would be more clear about every step I should take instead of trusting me to live the life He’s given me. Then I don’t. How great is that He gives me life to live, messy and rife with possibility, and chooses to direct when needed, but more often than not just walk along.

 

Walking down an overgrown path snaking down towards the water. The path splits. Where should I go?

 

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Waiting for a Door

I know where I need to get to, just not how to get there. 

“If you’re waiting for a door that is shut, walk through the door that is open to you, or you sit down and wait for the door to open”. 

I am sitting in a room. I hear a voice; a voice that beckons me to come, but when I look up I do not see any doors. I can’t see. I’m blind. I hear the voice beckoning, with my anxiety rapidly pumping blood through my body I can’t focus to hear. I can’t see. Still, the voice bids me to come, but I cannot hear.

Philippians 4:6 – 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Okay. Prayer and supplication. God, show me where I am going. Give me your direction.

Proverbs 16:9 – 

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Okay, Lord direct my steps. Show me my steps where they will lead. I have no plans.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

God, I am acknowledging you. I trust you, but you need to show me where I am going. Show me the door

I must have missed something. Prayer and supplication. Prayer and supplication. What is supplication?

sup·pli·ca·tion
 the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.
“he fell to his knees in supplication”

Well, I certainly have been earnest, but what does it mean to ask humbly? I need to acknowledge that this won’t happen by my earning it or figuring out something, by carving my own door. 

Sit and wait for your door to open. 

What shall I do until then? Live

Someone recently said two phrases to me, (one of which I am pretty sure is the re-imagining of a Tolkien quote.

“God is never late, nor is He early. He does things exactly when He wants them done, His timing.”

and

“Let God”

So…I wait. Maybe when I heard the beckoning I thought it meant now, and perhaps it does, either way, I will wait until that door opens believing that God will open it precisely when he means to. He doesn’t need me to construct any doors. 

“When God makes a promise to you, He doesn’t expect you to fulfill it for him. Your parents don’t tell you they will buy you candy, then expect you to pay for it.”