It is the second half of the school year, and I am traveling quite a bit around the state of Minnesota. As the dean of students for an online school, my primary role is to deal with attendance issues. Yes – we take attendance in the online setting; it just looks a bit different than in a seat-based school. If you ever want to attend a training on it, let me know – I have connections (or I will just run a webinar for you and you alone).
This role takes me to far-off place like International Falls where I can see Canada just across the river from a gas station on my way to court. I drive almost everywhere, and my trusty Honda Civic’s stereo is my best friend as it pumps out the tunes or a book on CD.
On a recent trip, I realized that I was in complete silence as I drove. I could not remember when or why I had I had chosen silence over noise, but I had.
I played with the volume knob a bit before I glanced over to the stereo and saw that it was indeed in “standby” mode.
As I drove through the frozen tundra of Northern Minnesota, I realized that I was missing all of the beauty that was there for me to see. I drove, day-dreamed, and “spaced out” – completely lost in thoughts that no longer have much bearing. I doubt that the thinking was productive. I doubt that the day-dreaming truly involved dreaming – by that I mean that I was not making future plans for great things in my family’s life.
I just stood by.
Well, in this case, I was sitting…and driving.
Regardless of what the position is – standing by, sitting by, laying by – life is going past us as we stand by. Sometimes we have to wait. We wait on the Lord. We wait on other people to make decision. We wait. But most of the time, at least in my life, I am not waiting on anyone else…I am just not being an active participant in life.
I am letting it pass by me, allowing it to go on without much thought, and lacking much interest in how it impacts me until I am so unhappy about something that I stomp my feet and say, “Stop! This isn’t how I wanted it to be.”
But I had not taken any time to consider how I did want it to be. I had not actively done anything to make it go differently. So when I get to point B without realizing I had left point A, I want to blame everyone else rather than looking in the mirror.
When I live in standby mode, I am to blame for life going in certain directions.
I give life implicit permission when I do not explicitly take a daily inventory of how I want it to be. And – if I do not take time to consult God about how He might want my life to go, I certainly cannot blame Him when it just goes poorly.
Is this happening to anyone else? Are there some times that we let this happen more than others? Or perhaps in certain areas of our lives more than others?
I would love to hear your thoughts today in the comment section!
PS: I have a renewed sense of wanting to write in this blog; however, I think that a daily submission might be overly ambitious at the present way that life is. I am hoping to have a Monday-Wednesday-Friday submission routine down. It’s March 1, and some things need to change and be re-prioritized. I hope that this sense of ambition remains!
How are you all?