The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

10 December 2015

The Law of perversity

The Law of Newton states that if something is dropped, it will fall on your toe.
The Law of Murphy states that if you don't leave the house until a quarter past the last minute, you will need to stop for gas.

The Law of Perversity (I haven't been able to come up with a good actual name for it. I was leaning towards Simon, but that isn't quite right. Perhaps you will think of something.) states that if there is some challenge, some difficulty in your life - a task you dread each day, or a job you can barely drag yourself out of bed for each morning - you will begin to enjoy it, even anticipate it just as it's coming to an end.

Why? And does it happen only to me? Is being stubborn and contrary hard-wired into my DNA, or is there any hope that one of these days I will finally learn to be present in the moment

I'm really striving for abandonment (accepting God's will), and trusting that, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28)  I know that Paul, in this letter to the Romans, isn't telling me that life is going to be easy just because I love God, or that only good things will come my way. He also isn't saying that anyone who doesn't love God can expect only terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things to happen to them. I'm not sure that I do understand Paul's meaning here (so many aspects of faith are mysterious) but it is along the lines of: God gives only His best in every moment. We may not see how it is 'best' or understand how it 'works to the good' - maybe not for a very long time - but if we are patient and are looking for it, we can see how all the different pieces of our life fit together and every one of them made us stronger, smarter, more patient, prepared us for something, or brought us to where we are now and we - at last - see that it is very good, indeed.

Eventually, maybe, I'll be able to approach the 'Law of Perversity' moments in Paul's way right from the start. I tend to get on board a little further along the line, but I now have the wisdom to know that I will eventually reach the acceptance-with-grace stage eventually, even while I'm moaning my way through the early mornings at a job that makes me want to stay under the covers. I would watch the clock ever so slowly inch its way toward hometime, and all I could do at that point was prepare for the next day before crawling into bed in order to do it all again. I dreaded those times during the day when students would descend on the library, and the sound of the doors slamming open and crashing closed became louder and louder in my mind.  What a sad way to go through life!

Now, of course, with only six days left at this job, the children have transformed into interesting, (mostly) endearing, appealingly challenging, not-quite-sure-who-they-are-yet, slightly-bigger-than-they-used-to-be young people. They are approaching me in a great rush to help them with last minute assignments (I love the challenge of research!), and they have become individuals instead of the rampaging horde they used to be.  Now I am looking forward to seeing them in the morning (though I will not lie: I do not quite leap out of bed with joy at the new day), and I am able to reach out to them instead of cowering in fear of them.

Of course the change is all on their part, right?

I don't know yet where my next assignment will be. I will probably be back in an elementary school, and if I'm completely honest with you, I am going to miss these big children and all their wonderful challenges.

1 comment:

  1. I think the name fits the law perfectly. And I'm sure this law exists, just like Murphy's does.