You heard me right – it is not a bowl of cherries.
Have you ever looked at a bowl of cherries? "The Hub" loves cherries. And so, he often eats an entire bowl at one time. A bowl of cherries is beautiful. All those pretty, deep red, perfectly shaped, deliciously sweet cherries – all piled together – like they're posing for a still-life artist.
Yes, they present a lovely picture.
(Of course, even a bowl of cherries ends up being a huge pile of pits in the end – but I don't want to get too cynical here…)
My life isn't very often a lovely picture. It isn't all uniform, and neat, and colorful.
When it comes to my life – pasta prevails.
A tangled, intertwined, snarled pile of noodling problems, struggles, turmoil, and frustration. Sure, there are some good moments along the way – even spaghetti has sauce! But it's often just a confusing mess.
What is the proper way to eat a bowl of spaghetti?
Some aficionados are real pros. They expertly wield a fork and spoon like a surgeon uses a scalpel. Twirl perfectly into one *eatable* wad of noodles. Insert into mouth – no stragglers – and chew to your heart's delight.
I have not mastered this technique.
I slurp and slop my spaghetti like an amateur. I make a saucy mess of myself. I've even taken to chopping up my noodles into bite-size pieces. Seems kinda like cheating to me, though. Evidently, I'm a pasta purist, even if I can't wrestle it into submission.
This is how I seem to deal with my spaghetti life.
Daunted by the twisted and jumbled mess that real-life living is, I muddle my way through.
But truthfully, isn't this the way it is for all of us?
We all struggle with a life that doesn't quite play out the way we would like. We can't control all the events, or people, or relationships, or circumstances. (Disclaimer: You can't – I've tried). As much as we'd like to run the show, we don't.
Why am I so dismayed – and comforted – by that fact?
I am not in control.
There is a part of me that really bucks up against that truth. Some part of me wants to be in control. I'd like to dictate how things happen.
I'd like everyone in my family to be healthy, happy, and financially stable. I'd like my marriage to be the perfect picture of communication and cooperation. What else? Dogs would live to be 100 (in human years), there would never be natural disasters, nothing would ever break or break down, and there would definitely never be death or taxes.
If I ran the world, things would be perfect.
There's just one problem.
I'm not perfect.
(I know – I've shattered your perception of me. But keep it a secret, OK? I've still got some people fooled…)
It's hard to look at a life that's not perfect, isn't it?
I ponder this…
How did God feel after that whole Garden of Eden *apple* debacle?
Because, after all, He had created a perfect bowl-of-cherries world. Without pits. It was all good – very good – by God's standard. Life was pretty, perfectly shaped, deliciously sweet. All according to God's holy standard, His wise design.
And then, it turned into a bowl of spaghetti.
I'm sure it broke His heart.
Does God long for Eden, like I long for a perfect life?
Oh, I'm sure that He does. And I happen to think that's why we long for a perfect life. We have God's image stamped on us – He has placed eternity in our hearts. There is something in our spirits that longs for a return to the beginning – to the way "things were supposed to be."
It's programmed into us.
And that's why life is hard – at least in part. We know that this ISN'T the way it's supposed to be.
God knows it, too.
And He's done, and is still doing, and will do something about it.
He sent His Son, so our relationship to Him can be restored. And through His Son, one day all things will be remade. Everything back to perfect order, all working in perfect unison – no mess, no problems, no worries…
So, in the meantime, what to do?
Well, for me, the thing that makes the most sense is to trust the One who has the original blueprints. The One who invented the recipe of life. The One who masterfully cooks the whole of my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly – into a beautiful sumptuous meal.
Yes, I'm still going to thrash around in the spaghetti. I'm going to make a mess with the sauce. I'm going to slurp and slop in my poor attempts to master life.
But I'm also going to let God teach me.
Teach me how to let go of the past – the things that I can't change.
Teach me how to live in the present – and be satisfied with His daily bread.
Teach me how to hope for the future – when all things will be made right again.
And I will pray for the peace to accept that my longing is proof that there is another day coming – a wonderful forever – when life will be a bowl of cherries.
How does God help you with your *spaghetti life*?
(SIDENOTE: See post below for a short - and sweet - explanation of the new blog look!)
Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE!
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"