Living in Oklahoma I hear all the Texas/Oklahoma jokes as we are HUGE rivals. Suffice to say, one of the jokes ends with this punchline: Oklahoma Blows. It's not far from true...in one sense.
Having spent most of my youth in “Colorful Colorado” and enduring freezing hair (yes, I’m serious) while waiting for a school bus, I thought I had seen the extremes of weather. I moved to Oklahoma, the first time, at age 19. At that time I was oblivious to my physical surroundings as my focus was ALL ABOUT ME, as it is with any self-respecting 19 year old (yes, I’m serious again).
I returned to Oklahoma, after a 10 year hiatus to “find myself”. Apparently I wasn’t really lost in the first place because I returned to the great state of Oklahoma; now with a husband and two dogs. I sat here wondering if we have some “cool” motto like New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment” or perhaps humble Arkansas: “The Land of Opportunity”. I looked up our state “motto” and it seems fitting that it says: “Labor conquers all things”. Therein IS the problem.
Remember the scripture; Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds a house, its builder’s labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain." We may be the 'Bible Belt' but you can be certain the Lord hasn't 'built this house (called Oklahoma) to completion'.
It seems Oklahoma would have done well to remember this when the “Sooners” settled here. This isn’t even the point of this posting…just food for thought.
The other morning I got out of my car to enjoy the once again reduced price of gas (must be getting old or something), a mere $2.019 per gallon, and I was dang near blown across a parking lot. This may not seem like such a big deal, but I am 5’11” and while no self-respecting woman shares her weight, suffice to say I’m well grounded! I laughed out loud as I remembered my sister sharing with me before I moved here that it’s sometimes breezy here. Everyone becomes so immune to this wind that even the weathermen call it a light breeze. Trust me, its 35-45 mph gusts of straight line or swirling wind. There is no avoiding it. The hairspray companies are making a mint! Most women in Oklahoma still don’t realize what the BACK of their head looks like.
I thought it was awesome….at first. Yes I said AWESOME! I'm not a "girly-girl" and I realized I wouldn’t have to do much to my hair it would “style” on its own each morning based on the weather. Trust me when you’re facing these “light breezes” and 90-100% humidity, there isn’t much you can do anyway.
So…I get out of my car at work, and as I do most every morning (because I’m a creature of habit), I place my coffee cup on top of my car while I lock up and get loaded down with my ‘supplies’ for the day. Some days; like this day, the wind almost won. The car door began swinging shut and the coffee began sliding across the top of the car…they both almost ‘got me’. I was fairly quick and on this day, I won this battle, but it made me think about our lives and the “winds of change”.
I know many of these lessons are due to the upcoming MAJOR changes I am going to face with my husband. He will graduate in December, after a very, very long period of work-school, work-school, work-school! We will search and find THE job and possibly relocate. I will work part-time and finally pursue my dream of writing. My roots may be ‘uprooted’. We might move. We may have to sell our first home. We may have to leave the new church we have just become a part of and truly love. We might end up staying in Oklahoma, though with the field my husband has chosen, it’s unlikely. In any event, change is the word in 2006-2007, for this family.
I don’t mind moving. I actually enjoy relocating every few years just for new scenery and a fresh perspective. We moved quite a bit when I was younger, and it’s become a part of my adult life as I’ve relocated every five years or so. We’ve lived in Oklahoma since 2001…it could be time to move.
I remember one the quotes I used to repeat to my sister, because she does NOT like change or moving…it was: “The only constant in life is change.” We’ve all heard it or lived it at some time or another and in some form or another. Change can be stressful, if we battle…instead of prepare for it. I think of change as the honing of our lives and the possibility of shedding of bad habits, and the opportunity to begin-again.
The problem for me really isn’t about the “change” it’s about the motivation behind the desire for change. Do I desire change because I NEED to reinvent myself? Do I desire change for some selfish motivation? One of the necessary, yet redundant themes of my life’s journey has been: “what is the motivation of your heart?” This is almost the first thing I ask myself when I think of pursuing some new activity or venue. I have to do this because I am so “driven” that sometimes, many times in fact, my motivation is strictly the hatch mark of completion. The PROUD bumper sticker proclaiming: “I did it!” Whatever “IT” is.
I have a tendency to jump out of line, run on up ahead and then get lost because the group veered right, when I went on up ahead. I go on vacation, not to relax, but to DO and SEE and ACCOMPLISH. The pictures would reflect all the THINGS I did, not the beauty of the surroundings. Kind of sad, huh? I want to go to a beach somewhere and not stress about just “lying around” and not worry about what I should be doing on my limited visit. It really does take the joy from so much of life.
There is this PROUD joy of accomplishing or being first, or whatever my flesh desires…but there is this resounding, memorable PEACE and JOY that far surpass the PROUD joy when I follow my heart’s lead, the heart of my heavenly Father.
I’m praying about these upcoming changes. I’m praying GOD’S will. I’m praying God would help me see clearly His desire. Today as the wind blows, yet again…I am praying that…
God will grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and most important the WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!