Things That Happened

“All those things that weren’t supposed to happen happened.  What happens next is up to you.”

Like a jolt of electricity, I shot up in bed and thought to myself, “Hmmmmm.  That’s pretty fucking deep.”  Okay, it’s not THAT deep, but deep and ironic enough to merit me taking the time to write about it.

Just recently I was chatting with a friend of mine.  I was discussing how even though I have traveled a long way since my decision at the fork in the road that lead me to a dead end; and how in a stumble I found a new path, one that is unpaved yet more glorious nonetheless, there was still something about that dead end I just couldn’t shake.

Perhaps it’s a sense of things unresolved.  A hunch gone wrong.  A direction misread.  A compass that failed me, perhaps even betrayed me.  I’ve let so much of that go.  Still there were questions that lingered.

“What happens next is up to you.”

It’s like voices in my head that come out of nowhere and begin as whispers in the middle of the night.  Right ear, left ear, then all around me.  The whispers grow to full fledged echoes.  My head is like the towers of Notre Dame, and the painful memories pull valiantly at the ropes that stir the peace I have tried so hard to maintain.  Why the torment?  Why now?  Why won’t they just leave me alone?

There are no right answers.  I’m well aware of that.  In fact, I resolved a long time ago there may never be any answers at all.  Searching for answers and finding the truth, whatever version of it may be available at the time, is of no consequence.  Those answers will not create a new road for me from the location of that last dead it.  Answers will not detour me off my current path or skew my existing journey.  Answers will provide nothing except more voices to the chorus that keeps me up at 3:00 AM. I’ve learned that’s it’s not about finding answers, but rather about finding acceptance.

“What happens next is up to you.”

It’s no coincidence my TV habits kept me up later than I wanted to.  It’s no fluke that I ended up watching the season finale of one of my favorite shows, a show I usually catch via On Demand the day after it airs. It was this show that produced the line that inspired me to write.  I would like to chalk the whole thing up to irony, but I also happen to think irony is God’s way of saying, “Yeah ……. I know.” (Which kinda’ makes the casting of Alannis Morrisette in Dogma just a little bit funnier.)

All those things that weren’t supposed to happen that happened; they happened for a reason.   All those plans that got deviated or altered; it wasn’t so much that things didn’t go as planned as it was I had the wrong plan laid out to begin with.   It’s in stumbling that we discover a new perspective and, as a result, a new way forward.

What happens next?  I don’t really know. I do know, however, it’s not up to me.  The only thing that’s up to me is how I choose to accept what I am given.  As for the rest, I place my faith in God’s will and my belief in the knowledge that I am where I am supposed to be; on this unpaved road, with life’s difficulties always ahead of me and my Angel always by my side.


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