Monday, October 12, 2009

Mad Libs

We all have blanks in our lives. I know 20-somethings don’t own the entire market of feeling in-between or like our blanks aren’t all filled in. But let’s be honest. Post high school and pre-family/home of your own is a crazy time. I can look at the blanks in my life and think: A noun goes there. An adverb should fit over here. A place there. A color there. And I could fill in those blanks with the options I like the best. The hitch? That’s not always my job. And my choices may not make sense. He’s the author and finisher of my faith. (Heb 12:2)

When I rush things, or just try to fill in the blanks before my plot has moved that far…I’m turning my beautiful story into a mad lib. It may work. It might even make sense. But it may not be the best possible design.

No analogy is perfect. I don’t think that there’s only one perfect option for our lives. For example: the perfect job, or the right hobby, or the perfect soul mate I may hope is in my future, or whatever. That’s just way too much pressure. And really, it’s not all that practical. (Plus, I don’t think that’s what life’s about. It’s not what you do, but how you do it. Or who you love, but how you love them. Or what race you run, but how you train and finish it. Does that make sense?)

Maybe the real secret to letting him be the “author and finisher” is paying attention to the direction I’m given. That way, I’m not trying to put an adverb where there should be a noun, or a verb where there should be number. And perhaps another part is being willing to erase what I’ve penciled in, when I realize that there’s a better option for that space. (That doesn’t apply to all the blanks, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with that. If I figure out that my job isn’t the best one for me…I can change it. If I can see that I need more quiet time instead of more socializing…I can fix that. If I need to exercise more or distance myself from a poisonous relationship…I can do that.)

But filling in blanks just for the sake of filling them. That’s never a good idea. So I guess there’s a balance somewhere in there. I can’t be afraid to move forward and write my story. After all, no one else is going to write it for me. But when I know that there are blanks that need to be filled in, to keep my story from turning into a mad lib…I need to stay in touch with the author.