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Does What I Do Really Matter?

CIMG4691For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. So Newton says.

That’s not to say that whatever you do, they’ll do it back to you; or whatever you give, they’ll give it back to you. No, good doesn’t necessarily beget good, it does good in the do-er.

Some call it grace; some call it karma. I call it Newton’s 3rd Law. Whatever I do, it applies an equal and opposite force to me. My body’s doings obey the laws of motion, uniquely!

My doing changes me back.
My thinking causes me to think again.
My helping them, helps me.
My ironing for him, smooths me.
My cleaning for her, cleanses me.

My praying, for him, for her, for them,
teaches me:
how to pray, what to say,
what to silence,
when to go, when to stay.

Equal and opposite.
Whenever I give, I get back,

Equal and opposite.
It’s a law of nature.
My nature.

For my every action, there’s a reaction,
In me.


Can We Bring Back Going Steady? What ever happened to going steady?

Happy Days 2Just the thought of it makes me smile, recalling Happy Days with the Fonz and Richie Cunningham sorting out teenage life at the malt shop. Going steady was what a boy did with a girl before asking her out or to the prom. Of course, after school you’d meet up to walk home together.

It may be old fashioned, but these days, going steady sounds really good to me. As a newly minted graduate, a cocky new employee, or a brand new Mom, I figured I knew what I needed to and what I didn’t know I’d look up, figure out or cross my fingers and fake it. the problem with all that individual effort and aptitude is it sets us on the course of our lives leaning WAYYY back on the boards when the boat takes us on the ride of our lives. When gale force winds blow, sailing solo may be exhilarating, but how long can you do that before capsizing? Then you’d better hope the rescue boats get there before the sharks do.

All it takes is one other sailor to balance the boat to keep things steady. If I start to tip, he brings things back upright. If I slip and scrabble for a hand hold, he grabs it and pulls me back. Even if I fall overboard, he hauls me back aboard. Even with the wind at our back, the ablest sailors need steadying. Life is full of rough waters, and navigating them in a one person ship is asking for trouble. To be sure, the voice of self-sufficiency that soon sounds of panic, angst and fear will always be more than happy to join you on the low side.

boat tipping

When life makes waves, we need someone else, one who can steady us. Yes, there will be days of smooth sailing that we can navigate alone or even invite others along for the “joy” ride. But let’s not let those days fool us. When the chop keeps coming and the waves get really big, we will need steadying. Very likely, the one doing the steadying won’t be there right next to you but may seem very far away. That’s because the further we tip, the more He rights.

Going steady may be old-fashioned, but I’d like to see it make a come-back. Smooth sailing is just not normative to human life these days, and the force of the waves seems to be growing. Everyone needs steadying. Thank goodness for the One who is steadfast in the storm.

Created lopsided

Have you ever noticed that the “come to me” motion (internal rotation at the elbow) is easier than the “you go ahead” motion (external rotation at the elbow)?

I did this morning as I was using my rubber tubing to strengthen the muscles of my rotator cuff. (around the shoulder) Turn sideways, hold the handles to the tubing anchored in the door, lock your elbow at your side and press the back of the hand away from your body like you’re opening a door or a drawer. Why, when my body seems so symmetrically designed, so parallel and balanced, are rotational motions so lop-sided?

Perhaps because the gathering to ourselves happens and will happen over and over again. The gimme. The I’ve got this. The No, I know the way, follow me. We strengthen that over time by using it again and again. But the “Please, you go ahead” need happen only once. Once we give way to follow, we open a door that turns us away from the gimme’s. It’s a simple act of respect.

It would be polite, I guess, to hold the door open for others coming behind. But I’m not sure we’re meant to. Perhaps, if people behind us know us well and respect us enough they’ll be curious about the door we just disappeared behind. Maybe, if they’re close enough, they’ll catch a quick glimpse as we pass through and hurry to investigate.

Perhaps if I close the door carefully and quietly behind me, don’t let it slam, leave it slightly ajar…

But no, close it does. Now I’m hoping my continually strong internal rotators aren’t evidence that I keep trying to pry that door back open to go back to the gimme’s and the follow me’s.

Perhaps if I turn the other way and work on external rotation from both sides, I’ll be balanced.

Aha! God wants me to be ambidextrous!

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