Friday, August 19, 2016

Human Knots

Very recently, I was in a car wreak while traveling back to Texas for my second year of seminary. I won’t lie and say it was alright. It was an horrible experience. Things could have been much worse. I could have been injured severely. Others could have been injured severely. But the near experience of almost causing harm to others or myself is still traumatic.

However, as traumatic as the experience was, I am discovering that the aftermath is much worse. There is so much that needs to be done from what had happened. Insurances need to be notified. Car supplies need to be collected. New forms of transportation need to be discovered. Mental and emotional stability needs to be re balanced.

And that is only from the accident itself.

There are plenty of other stresses that need to be addressed. Such as finding a job…without easy transportation. Or preparing for the school semester. Or even small things like groceries or household supplies. And then there are money expenses from all different fronts.

Throughout all of these stresses, I feel like a combination of several tangled knots that keep getting more and more knotted.

Have you ever feel that way?

You know you have a problem and you try to fix the problem, but it’s either hard or difficult because you got several other knots to try and untangle.

In many ways, humans are a web of knots from all the stress that either we put on ourselves or the stress that others of the world put on us.

And the main tragedy of it all is that we don’t know how to untangle our knots or know how to untangle the knots of others.

It’s a problem I struggle with all the time.

This past summer, I was Camp Staff Director at Christmount. During one camp, I had a camper come up to me and ask if I could untangle her bracelet for her. The entire bracelet was a huge mess of knots, but I told her I would try.

I must have spent several hours untangling her bracelet but I eventually untangled each knot so it was back to how it was in the beginning.

Many people who had tried to untangle the bracelet before me asked how I did it. I told them I took my time. I didn’t see the entire mess of knots and try to fix the whole thing, but untangled one knot at a time.

I feel like many people try to untangle all of their problems all at once and think that will solve all of their problems. I see it all the time during New Years. Almost everyone tries to solve all of their problems through a New Year’s Resolution. Somehow, through that resolution, all of the problems they had the previous year will be resolved by making promises to themselves which they more than likely cannot keep.

It is true that a lot of our problems have some kind of connection to the other problems we have in our lives. But that doesn’t mean we have to solve all the problems at the same time. Sometimes, we need to give a problem the attention it deserves so it can be resolved properly.

And problems can’t be solved properly when they are being rushed. The impulse to try and get a problem out of our lives is extremely human. I do it a lot because I am impatient and having a problem in your life is extremely uncomfortable.

But have you ever noticed that when you try to quickly untangle a knot, you either don’t get the knot untangled or worse, you create more knots?

I notice that the frustration of realizing you can’t quickly untangle knot results in either giving up on untangling the knots, trying to cut the entire string to get rid of the knots, or continuously creating more and more knots.

Giving up on the knots won’t solve the problems we have. As much as it would be easy to pretend they are not there, the knots don’t disappear when we give up on them. They are still present and tangled.

Cutting the knots off the string also won’t solve the problem. When we cut the string, we are ripping out an entire piece of who you are or a relationship you had that was special to you. Cutting the string can sometimes do more damage than having the mess of knots.

And of course continually creating more and more knots won’t solve the problem.

Only when we take the time to solve each knot can the entire string be resolved.

And yes, it will take time. It will sometimes take years to untangle several of our knots. It will take years to help untangle the knots of others.

Many times we want a quick fix and a quick fix does not always exist, especially when we have several other knots connected to the knot we are trying to fix.

True healing can only be solved when we don’t run away from the knots. When we don’t try to cause more harm to ourselves or to others. And when we are impatient with the process.

So I hope you realize it is okay that you have human knots. We all have them and don’t feel like you have to quickly untangle your knots. Take the time to untangle each knot. And don’t be afraid to get help from others in trying to untangle your knots.

Yes, our knots are scary. Yes, our knots make us uncomfortable.

But there is hope. You are loved and God lives in you through your Ruah, helping you untangle your knots so you may be in balance with your life.