Monday, July 09, 2012

Cute Lies on Cards

It's become a serious fad to post cute little sayings on virtual cards all over facebook.

They're driving me nuts!

Some are harmless. Some are actually nice (like quotes from the prophets that are encouraging).

Some of the most popular are downright lies.

Like this one: "At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end."

Yeah, right.

Really, the end of the story is when and how you die, right? How many of us get to choose that? Barring suicide, none.

But even if we take "the story" to mean not your entire life, but just a little section of it, it's a cruel thing to tell someone that they have control over all the outcomes in their lives. Moms don't really get to decide if their babies are born healthy and without disabilities. Cancer patients don't get to decide to be healthy. Some people work all their lives and never get a baby/spouse/job/miracle/whatever they're hoping and praying for.

Sometimes you get fired.

Sometimes you end up in a wheel chair.

Sometimes your kid does.

Sometimes people get raped or tortured.

Sometimes there's a giant wildfire and it burns your house to the ground.

Sometimes the drunk driver does hit your car, and all you saying "This is not how the story is going to end!!" won't stop that. Sometimes that IS the end, and you can't stop it. And if it's not the end, then saying that is stupid.

We can't control other people, and for all our fuzzy warm thoughts, and all of our independent spirits, and all our empowerment, other people's choices do have a major impact on our lives--and we can't change that.

And sure, you can say, "The story is not going to end here"--because if the story wasn't completely over, you do have to pick up and move on.

Really, in life, the choice is not how the story ends. The choice is how we react, what we choose, and sometimes how we're going to focus from here on out (NOT necessarily what happens to us next).

Every story, ultimately, ends in death. And that's how it's supposed to be. But we don't get to choose a great deal of the things that happen to us, and it's truly not helpful to people who are struggling when we lie to them and tell them they can.

Because the reality is, either this IS how the story is going to end and you have no choice over that, or you haven't reached the end yet and you don't know what's going to happen next, so you choose your own actions and pray for the best.

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