Sunday, March 4, 2012

Which Is Easier...To Outrun A Landslide Or Get Off Your Bum?

This afternoon I watched a National Geographic documentary with the children about the forces of nature, particularly focusing on landslides.  I love these programmes.  I love the gasps of astonishment as we see the moan of the planet in the process of forming it's ever changing landscape.  I love seeing the children's eyes wide open and their mouths drop in awe at the close shaves of the cameramen and film makers who have captured these amazing moments.  And most of all, I love that I am watching all this from a vantage point which poses us no danger.  Well anyway one of the incidents featured was a clip which I have seen many times before.  Two men outrunning a landslide.

The two men who were caught up in this race against nature were interviewed and spoke of the adrenalin and the urgency which kicked them into pulling off this great escape.  There was no choice. Act or perish were the only two options open to them. So they acted and they succeeded.

Now most of us will never be caught up in a landslide, or an earthquake, or a volcano.  The likelihood of huge events like this hitting us is pretty slim.  But just now and again we may get a little glimpse of the big things.  A few years ago a big thing hit our family in the form of a  very loved little unborn daughter facing major health issues.

It affected our life in a similar way as you would imagine being caught up in a landslide would feel like.  Living through that time was difficult, heady, emotional, draining and everything else you can think it would be.  Now, several years later, a normality of sorts has returned to our family and I am able to look back and evaluate whether we, or more precisely, I, have changed as a result.  I think it's fair to say that anybody would be affected in all sorts of ways, most of them probably for the better, after a life-changing event like that.

One thing though that jumps out at me whenever I think about it is this:

Sometimes the BIG thing is easier than the LITTLE things.

How can anybody say such a thing??? How can it be easy to carry a baby in your womb not knowing whether she will live or die?  How can it be easy to hand a tiny baby over to a cardiac surgeon and place her life in his hands? How can it be easy seeing her being bagged by PICU staff and stand there helpless and wondering whether your own heart is ever going to start beating again? Are you MAD???

It's not easy.

It's not easy at all, it is very, very, very difficult.  I'm definitely not saying it's easy.  What I am saying though, is that it was like being caught up in the landslide.  It was terrible, but easy to get up and get on with it.  Because there was no choice.  That adrenalin which forces the decision...fight or flight...fight or flight?
No decision to be made there, FIGHT was the only option.

There was the God given Grace which came our way. 

There was the love and support which was doled out to us without reserve from near and far. 

There were e-mails, text messages, Facebook notes, letters, cards, masses, flowers...and food

In some ways, however tough and difficult it was, we were along for the ride, we didn't really have to do anything. We were carried along by the landslide. The burden was shared.

Now, compare that to a dreary day at home when the children are at school.  There's nothing in the fridge with which to make dinner.  Of all housekeeping chores, the one I hate most is grocery shopping. I hate it!! Give me an iron and a load of fresh scented laundry any day.  

Compare that to 9 pm on a midweek evening.  Husband is on duty, the children really should be in bed and there's a general air of untidiness around the place.  I'm enjoying a chat with a far away friend on Facebook and nice and comfy in my chair near the fire. 

Compare that to the mid afternoon slump.  I clearly remember that I promised Jesus I'd factor Him in today because I was so sorry I'd left Him out yesterday (and the day before), but I'm so tired, and sluggish, and I still haven't put on the dinner, and there's all these children...with homework!! Oh you mind if I put you on the long finger...again?

Compare that to mulling over that imagined slight your husband made of you this morning...mulling over it all day, whereby it has grown out of all proportion and he'd better be prepared for the freeze over when he comes home tonight.

That's what I'm trying to's easy to love and be filled with closeness for your husband when you're standing outside an operating theatre.  It's easy to read the complimentary messages and actually start to believe you are amazing while serving your children the lasagne somebody else has dropped in.  It's easy to cling to God when you have nowhere else to turn.

No landslide, or rollercoaster is going to kick us into action on the mundane.  Nobody is going to send me good wishes and prayers that I'll get the dinner made this evening.  Nobody is going to ring the doorbell and offer to put the children to bed because I must be tired by now.  Nobody is going to notice whether I do the mundane or not. To be quite honest, nobody cares.  

Not qiute nobody.  Your spouse cares.  Your children care (though they probably don't know that yet and won't for about another twenty or so years.).

And God cares.

So NOW.  I'm turning off this computer, I'm getting those children into bed, I'm tidying up this room.  Then I'm going to talk to God, make up menus and shopping list for next week.  And when my husband comes home from out of hours cover...I'm going to smile at him.

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  1. So articulate, so true xx

  2. Striking a chord with me, for sure! Hurray for small victories!


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