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Drawing the line

By Debbie Ogunjobi
SO what do you think of this and where do you see it going?
Were the questions that came my way just a couple of days ago. A couple of years back I would lose myself in deep contemplation; wondering what mysteries the future held and what decisions I would have to make and probably given myself a migraine trying to come up with an answer but I thank God for the epiphany that’s been unfolding slowly but surely.

My answer was not meant to impress anyone or even something that took more than the time it took to open my mouth and string forward my short and simple reply. “I don’t” was my simple answer.

When I was told to explain; I told my audience I wasn’t going to waste my time thinking about a project that was barely hatched or try to contemplate a future I couldn’t control. I stopped processing trauma; it’s how I choose to see the futility of worrying about things outside of the hemisphere of the little or none existent control I have over life.

A couple of days later one of the people who heard me introduced me to someone as the sage who doesn’t process; as expected I was drawn into a rather long defence of my position and my first thought was to relinquish the title of sage. I am no smarter than the average Joe and whatever wisdom I have acquired over the years, were taught on a bed of tears and a lot of pain.

Dangerous endeavours

Given the stress I and mine have endured in the past couple of weeks, I figured I could be forgiven for not writing this week but I had to share my nugget of the year. If I have learnt one single thing in all of my existence on the planet, culminating in the year that’s just rolled away, it is this; thinking about the future and worrying about the past are the two most useless and dangerous endeavours that plague mankind.

While I have known this fact for quite a while; the real nugget is this; I don’t have to! I am no better or worse off by refusing to think of the future or worry about the past, so why on earth should I? Why on earth should you for that matter? In 2010; draw the line and stop worrying or thinking!

To those who believe sorrow to be the bedrock of brilliance and despair the pillar of genius, I will probably be dismissed as a simpleton!! I don’t mind; Van Gogh was such a genius and he is acclaimed for Amany masterpieces  (paintings) and eventually cutting his own ear off. Nobody will dismiss his genius and his work is indeed brilliant but since I am more concerned with living the best life I possibly can; I choose to immerse myself in light and love for all of God’s creation.

A lot of us are the recipients of abuse and while we can be hurt by others we can take a stand and choose not to think about the hurtful actions over and over again. For instance, receiving a slap is as painful as it is humiliating; choosing to replay back the memory for weeks and months is celebrating the event and processing extra trauma! So you were slapped? Sorry about it; get yourself out of harm’s way so it doesn’t happen again.

You can choose to seek redress but wailing for ages and having a yearlong pity party is unduly processing the trauma for yourself. Forgiveness is actually a greater antidote than any form of redress or revenge; it helps us heal and move on.

It’s an irony that our worst fears never actually come to pass! Now please don’t quote Job to illustrate that fears sometimes come true; yes they do but our nagging every day worries don’t. Those things that keep us up at night are normally dispelled by the light of day so why waste precious time thinking and worrying about them? To recap on some truths I would like to remind us all of some fundamentals.

The future is none of our business; we can’t predict or control it, so it’s God’s business; keep out of it.
Other people’s opinions are also none of our business; not everyone is going to like us or our choices; keep out of that too.
You can’t change the past; it’s gone, so let it go; move on!

If you have done the traditional list of New Year resolutions let me suggest you tear the list; it’s delving into the future and that is God’s business. If you must have a resolution, then let 2010 be the year that you draw a line in the sand of life and leave worrying about the past and thinking about the future in 2009.

I am not asking anyone to be reckless and not think things through what I am saying is that the only business we have is doing the best we possibly can and leaving the rest to God; anything else is outside of our concern and leads to trauma.

Happy new year; may the grace of God abound towards you as you trust the future to the One who knows the end, even from the very beginning.


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