Hey. So… This is a blog.
You guys are probably raising an eyebrow, maybe even muttering, “Thanks, Captain Obvious,” under your breath at your screens right about now. Good. That means it worked. 🙂
“Obvious” is one of those words that you kind of have to wonder why it even exists. It’s there to point out things that you shouldn’t really have to point out. It shouldn’t be necessary, but it kind of is sometimes. Imagine yourself raising a child (or don’t because you might actually be doing so). Whether you’re young or old, father or mother, you’ve done a good enough amount of life to have learned a few things about the world, the way it works, and such. Your child? Not so much. Granted, there are some pretty intelligent kids out there, but I digress.
At some point, they’re going to do something that just makes you want to, well, obviously…
I could just end this feature right there, right? But no. It never really ends, does it? Life is hopefully an endless progression of growth, meaning that someone somewhere probably knows more and has lived more and therefore has something to teach, something to show you that might not be obvious to you because you haven’t yet lived it or been taught it, but they have.
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of being taught, though. Sometimes, you already know what the heck is going on. You just overlooked details or ignored facts. You saw the good and not the bad, or vice versa. It’s very easy to develop that kind of pattern, especially if you see something you don’t like and want to never see it again. It’s even easier to do this when the thing you don’t want to see is in yourself or someone you care about.
Despite what you may think, it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself when you restate the obvious. There’s so much you already know, and so much you can learn from it. Like a Rubik’s cube, you can see a completely different picture, even a more orderly and accurate one, just by looking at what you’ve already seen from a different angle, but to do that, you kind of have to go back to square one. This is the part where I’ll demonstrate. Today, I am your guinea pig.
I have problems with loneliness. It really gets to me some nights. It hurts, and it hurts a lot. That, to me, by now, should be obvious, and I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s so easy to become upset with people who ask questions with obvious answers like, “Are you okay?” when you’re obviously crying of torment; or maybe, “Your hair is uneven,” when you spent half an hour trying to fix it to no avail. We know the answers, and we’ve been around them long enough to assume that they should also know, but they don’t, and we’ve been around the answers long enough to live with the unfortunate reality of them and wish to not be reminded. So under this pretense, we don’t tell ourselves about our own troubles. We don’t want to face them or think about them because, duh, we already know all about them!
A lot of times, just like with hair that refuses to behave, loneliness makes us feel helpless. I can’t just magically make a sensible significant other appear in my life. I can look, but that doesn’t mean I’ll find. I know that. It’s obvious, and I hate acknowledging such a painful fact. At the same time, saying it out loud does something. When I say it out loud, I’m a little more okay with dealing with it.
Holding in pain can be like holding your breath. You eventually become lightheaded, disoriented, maybe even a little confused and out of touch with the world around you. Your brain can’t work without air, which takes breathing in and out. By holding in your breath, you don’t get new air, new oxygen, and your mind can’t stay in touch with reality, like if you breathed in carbon monoxide until the poisoning made you confused, even was conducive to hallucination. Speaking your pain–yes, stating the obvious–can be a lot like that. You let go of the old breath, which was killing you, and breathe in new air. You regain your head and emerge back into reality.
What if we did state the obvious to ourselves, accept the reality of the crappiness of things. By ignoring the trash, we don’t take it out. By ignoring the enemy, we don’t fight him. The ultimate enemy (Satan and his abominations called sins) wants to be ignored, wants to not be talked about, because that would involve us breathing, and that would keep us alive. But what if, for a change, we all grew thicker skin? What if, for a change, we didn’t shrink from the fight in denial of it just because it isn’t pretty to look at or to feel? What if we just breathed for a change?
By holding your breath until you pass out, you lose the ability to combat your situation, or even the ability to endure it until it ends. I know that despite this area of dark and others like it, there is so much good that God is doing to me, and I hope that becomes good through me, too. I’m surrounded by clean, pure air (that is, the Spirit of the Living God). Why shouldn’t I breathe? Why shouldn’t I let go of what I think is the best thing for me so that I can embrace He who is?
By posing this question, I’m still stating what should be obvious to me but is a fact that I clearly have trouble paying attention to. I acknowledge the most beautiful thing that could ever happen to someone and accept it: Jesus’ love. I am guilty of not dwelling on it more than I dwell on my problems—or maybe it’s more that I’m guilty of not dwelling on his love as I dwell on my problems.
At any rate, it’s not a bad thing to go back to square one, do a little review, get used to stating the obvious good with the obvious bad. God is good, even when everything else goes dark.