Lessons from a careful life

I have lived a pretty careful life.  As long as I can remember, I have tried to do the right thing.  I have never been interested in exploring life outside the boundaries.  I don’t see anything wrong with coloring in the lines.

While my peers were drinking and dancing (both sins in the church of my youth), I was practicing sonatas on the piano.  While other girls were sneaking out of their bedrooms to meet bad boys, I was babysitting.  While some teenagers rebelled by sticking needles into their arms, my dad caught me wearing mascara once when I performed in a trio at the county fair.

I was a good girl.  I wanted to be  good girl.  I wanted to get all the answers right, no matter what test I was taking.  I listened to all the directions.  I read the manuals.

This strategy has worked well for me.  I have no skeletons in my closet, no scars or broken bones, no incriminating photographs.  I haven’t thrown up in anyone’s car, nor have I forgotten my underpants in anyone’s living room.

As it turns out, you can’t stop the tide.  While you are tending to the moats and shaping the sandcastles of your life, waves slip in and then crash over and sometimes, wash away everything you’ve built.

If I were keeping score, I would find this incredibly unfair.  I have made good choices and yet, bad things have happened.  I have acted appropriately and all hell has broken loose.  I have done the right thing and been rewarded with the wrong results.  Tidal waves have washed out the entire shoreline of my life.

Is there a lesson to learn?  (I am the kind of girl who wants to learn the lessons.)

Not really.  Life isn’t as simple as taking a multiple choice test.  Sometimes I don’t even know the questions, let alone the answers.

Crazy things happen, even if you alphabetize your spices.

All you can do is swim parallel to the shore so the riptide doesn’t sweep you out to sea.  And wear a really big life jacket.  Sooner or later the sea will spit you back onto the shore.

10 thoughts on “Lessons from a careful life

  1. What a terrific post. SO good I’m going to share it on our blog (I’m not very good at notifying, but it will be up before too long!).

    If it’s any consolation, we’re supposed to be grateful for those riptides.

    And really grateful when we’re spit back onto the shore.



  2. You remind me of a time, late teens I think, when I realized that my entire relationship with God seemed to be based on a contract that I had drawn up in my own head to manipulate him. If I obey and do everything right then He’s obligated to keep bad things from me and give me a happy life. NOT! It was very silly.

    I remember the day I decided to “love the Lord my God with all my heart soul mind and strength” let the chips fall where they may, without expecting a reward.

    That day changed my life.


  3. Great post! Have you been over to Debra’s blog As I See It Now http://debrasotherthoughts.blogspot.com/ If not drop by sometime she is very inspirational and real.

    Now back your post; I think sometimes it’s the rough seas that lets us know we are still Earth bound and not perfect yet; you know you are alive and traveling the road when troubles rise. What better way to give glory to Father then to show how we were lifted up by Him in spite of ourselves.


  4. Amen!

    It just goes to show that even our own lives are out of our hands. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. Bad things happen to good people too. I think we can always learn from things & take what we learn & try to put it to good use… Somewhere.


  5. So, are you in the life jacket, or back to shore?

    I spent the summer in a life jacket…the wedding of my first child did that to me….but now I am back to shore!


  6. Your post reminded me of my teenage daughter in so many ways. She has broken a few rules over the years, but for the most part, she has been straight laced. She loathes the thought of a wave washing away her perfectly created world. (Normally, I get this blame for any extra wind or rain.) But after reading your post, I understand her more now. Thanks!

    This is one of the reasons I LOVE reading blogs. Yours is a great blog to come to.


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