I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, though I do have goals. More importantly, I have relationships. Although I sometimes wish I didn’t because, frankly, I’m not very good at them. I’m much more at home in Mitchland where I know every inch of the terrain, where I create carefully constructed missives and distribute them like worms of wisdom to a hungry world. It’s all so neat, so tidy, so completely controllable.
God, however, is more interested in teaching me to abide along the messy mesas and precipitous canyons of Relationshipland, where the landscape is continually shifting. All a part of his sneaky scheme, I suspect, to make me more dependent upon him.
I never know when God will send me to Relationshipland. Last year he set up a strategic meeting there between my adult daughter Beth and me. Then last week, during her annual Christmas visit, God did it again.
Building on what I’d previously learned, I talked to her as an adult, a confidante, confessing frustration at my glacial progress toward getting out of my head and focusing on others, on talking less and listening more.
Beth guffawed, and went on to share some of her experiences outside Bethland. Some people, she admitted, perceive her as arrogant, as only interested in her own thoughts. Wait, I asked, was she talking about herself, or about me?
We laughed at the triumphal conversations we stage in our minds in which people, unlike those in the real world, are unceasingly inspired by our profound logic.
I was shocked. I’ve always thought Beth was less like me than her sister (I adore them both). But it seems I’ve been deceived by mere superficial differences. In many ways, she’s more like me than her sister (poor thing). Of course, they both have a lot of their mother in them too (thank God), as well as that secret blend of herbs and spices that makes them completely themselves.
Interestingly, I’ve observed that each trip to Relationshipland changes Mitchland a little. In fact, it seems these trips may be the only thing that changes Mitchland. And yet somehow, after each visit to Relationshipland, Mitchland seems a little more real.
You’d almost think God planned it that way.