Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Idols Under My Skin
The other day was frustrating... Sarah (my wife) had a lot of work to do, our kids were sick (Eva spent a couple of nights in the hospital), and I had work piling up around me and was in a REALLY good mood (that is blogger sarcasm). Basically, I was grumpy with everyone and finally Sarah sat me down and said, "What's wrong?" And I started talking and a whole bunch of stuff spilled out that I did not even know was bothering me but was festering in my subconscious.
Then Eva went to the hospital for walking pneumonia and I spent the week running my son around, trying to accomplish SOME work, updating concerned friends/grandparents/everyone as to Eva's status. I know I ate and slept but don't remember much- it's kind of hazy.
During all of this (relatively) minor disaster I thought to myself just how big stuff becomes little and little stuff becomes big... that is until you get whacked with something like this. We piss and moan about how we want/need more money, better job, different spouse (other people, not me), how annoying school/job/home is, and how we want _____________. But that blank is, almost certainly, a "little" thing- but that little thing now occupies a lot of brain space as we contemplate how to improve or change or eliminate that thing.
The past few days I have not watched movies, played video games, eaten healthy, gone to the gym, read much, or spent time with a lot of people who are directly seeking me out- all things that I try to do when life is going well.
However, the "big" stuff shrinks in size when life is well: we neglect family (at times), watch stuff we should not, read meaningless magazines, kill hours at malls/coffee shops/bars, we play video games and worry about people's opinions of our lives (most of whom are not that involved with us). We forget to call that friend back or tell people we love them because our minds are busy with all of that "important" little stuff.
I think this is why, as Americans, we can be the most guilty of idolatry. Our lives are good. We have free time. Expendable money (well, some of us). So the little stuff grows in importance while the big stuff shrinks.
My daughter can make me crazy: she is wound up, noisy, can pester me and her mother, and needs a lot of attention so she can seem draining. But when push came to shove that 30lb. little girl taking an ambulance trip reminded me of big an little... and just how big she needs to be.