Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Life Is Funny That Way

I can’t remember who it was but some guy commented on how adoption just wouldn’t be something that he could do.

Me neither.

My wife and I didn’t become Christians until 5 - 6 years into our marriage. Like many non-believers, I didn’t want to have ANY children (who could bring a kid into this rotten world ya-da ya-da). My real reason was I didn’t want to have other people take chunks of my life away from me - i.e., I was profoundly selfish.

Well, life has a way of changing.

As I could see one of these changes coming down the road, and no way to avoid it (not if I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror) I remember sitting out in the backyard and saying to God, “Father, if you want me to take these children, I need you to change me because my attitude stinks.”

In the blink of an eye it was done.

Atheists will say this was some psychological manipulation. I say it wasn’t. I know psychological manipulation. Psychological manipulation requires time and effort. It requires work to challenge our "wrong" thoughts and replace them with "correct" thoughts. I’ve used psychological manipulation and taught it to many hundreds if not over a thousand people before that incident and since. I know what it looks like, sounds like, feels like. This was something completely different.

In the blink of an eye my attitude went from practically everything negative to anticipation, joy, excitement and something I can’t quite explain. I’m not one to put any credence in feelings. I gag when Christians wait for a sense of peace in decision making. Some of the most important and correct decisions we will ever make will involve anything and everything except a sense of peace. In my counselling I’m prone to advise people to avoid making any decisions based on feelings of peace or otherwise. Our feelings lie and they lie frequently.

But this - well - like I said, this was different and my life has never been better ever since. At one point I didn’t want any kids and now I’m going to wind up raising seven of them. And I’m loving it.

Life is funny that way.

Happy Holy Days - and may the comfort of His presence allow for you to experience a Merry and Joyous Christmas


PersonalFailure said...

It's not a psychological trick. You wanted to be something (more patient, more loving, more generous, etc.), you believed a prayer would do the trick, and lo and behold!, it did.

The funny thing is, Makarios, that I compliment you on changing yourself. You do a beautiful thing every day by caring for your children, and the world is a better place for it, and not just for those children.

Merry Christmas.

Makarios said...

You too PF. Hope you have a good one.

Ginx said...

I tried to understand the "not wanting to bring a kid into the world" mentality. My teenage idol, Kurt Cobain, said those very same words. But I just couldn't get over the fact that I like being alive. Clearly Kurt felt differently on that matter, as well.

My wife and I half-heartedly tried for a kid this summer, but it just didn't happen. It was the last opportune time for a while. Now we have to wait a few years, maybe even until after she gets tenure as a professor. If for some reason we can't have kids, I'm sure we'll adopt. There's just something innately human about caring for someone else, and my wife is independent enough to not need me one bit (though luckily she keeps be around anyway).