on blogging and happiness

December 23, 2009 at 4:42 am Leave a comment

“Do you see the world in pictures or words?”

I’d never thought about that before.  “Words, I think,” I told my engineering friend.  “I’m such a verbal person – and I need to write to figure things out.” 

He threw up his hands and admitted stalemate.  I’ve recently discovered this new and amusing game of debating with my engineering and science friends (which is almost everyone) the importance of English and creativity and writing and such things, while they try to convince me of the importance of, say, chemistry.  Or physics.  My argument is always the enthusiastic The world works the same way whether I know how it works or not!, which usually leaves them sputtering.  It’s highly entertaining. 

But my friend’s question was interesting.  He sees the world in pictures and processes; hence he is a mechanical engineer.  But if I see the world in words, maybe that explains the plethora of journals, blogs, and random writings that fill my drawers and my day.  (And maybe it explains my fascination with words such as “plethora”).  And mostly, I write to make sense of the world, and to make sense of myself.  Thoughts and emotions clanging around in my brain just make me confused and often grumpy; I need to write to untangle everything.  (I also talk when I’m trying to study/memorize.  The wall, stuffed animals, my roomie, my mom – really, I just blabber senselessly to anyone who will listen.) 

I was trying to figure out why, exactly, I have this blog.  I’m frustrated with the fact that I feel it has no particular direction or purpose.  My favorite blogs have particular focuses – they’re mommy blogs, or photography blogs, or just brilliant wisdom blogs.  And a mommy, photographer, or wise woman I am not.  They’re well written, and fun to read – as evidenced by the hoards of readers flocking there every day.  And what, exactly, is Overlapped?  Just ramblings! 

It used to have a focus, as my header proclaims.  But that was last year, as I researched current events and wrote about them for school.  Now, I don’t have too much time to research current events and write about them, and so this has become a rambling record of…well, nothing in particular. 

But I keep it because I like to blog, even if I get frustrated at it.  No, I keep it because I need to write. 

So.  This humble little blog is simply a record of one girl’s journey – through college, through faith, through life. 

~

Now that I’ve gotten that cleared up with myself, on to something more interesting.  I’ve had a line from a song stuck in my head today, and I don’t even know what song it is.  It’s not about me, as if You should do things my way.  You are Lord my God, and I surrender, to Your way. 

We used this music for some of the barre exercises in dance, and that line always strikes me with its truth.  It’s not about me.

And yet, how much am I stuck in the mess of thinking it is.  Because, quite frankly, I want the world to be all about me; I want to do what I want when I want it, and I want everything to perfectly match up to my wants and standards.

That’s a lot of wanting.  And an awful lot of selfishness in my heart. 

And you know, even though it seems that such a focus on me would make me happy, even when things do go according to my wants – I’m miserable.  The world can never be perfect; I get irritated about little things and my heart conducts itself in the abominable behavior of a queen upset over trivial things. 

Really, Megan. 

But just recognizing this and repenting of this ugly behavior is a start.  And the more I see this, the more I understand God.  I have to make Him the center of my existence and focus on Him, focus on giving Him glory – because if I put myself there, it’s simply a disaster.  It’s not a case of God being selfish and saying, “I want all the glory for myself, and you can’t have any, even though you deserve it.”  He already has all the glory.  And I deserve hell, not the eternal life and blessings upon blessings He’s mercifully given me. 

It’s a case of God saying, “That’s not what you were created for.  You were created to find meaning and purpose and life in me.  And if you focus on yourself, you’ll just be miserable.”  Because as contradictory as it sounds in today’s materialistic me-me-me world, it’s true.  Selfishness equals misery.  And being a servant does, actually, bring joy.

And I find this especially obvious right now, in the midst of the Christmas cheer.  It’s a season that the world, empty as it is, tries to find meaning in.  Those perfect holiday parties, that perfect present, that perfect person – a time to celebrate family and love and perfection and yadda yadda.  And ultimately, those things fail.  Again, it’s a focus on us, on our desires and perceptions.  And if things don’t quite live up to our standards or hopes or the Joneses’ perfect celebrations, we’re disappointed.  At least, I know I am.  I wanted to have time to do this, I didn’t want that person to do that, I wanted everyone to be warm and happy all the time……

and it’s the old refrain of I want, I want

Which is not what Christmas is about at all. 

And how differently we approach that little manger if we have a heart of gratitude instead of bitterness over unfulfilled wants.  Then we stop looking at ourselves long enough to look up, at the Cross, at the entire point of this holiday – and see unfailing love, undeserved mercy. 

And focusing on that great gift, on God himself instead of me-me-me makes my day brighter; makes the irritating and  trivial things less bothersome because I’m not obsessed with the failure of that perfect standard of happiness I think I was promised.   Instead, I’m holding onto the brighter promise of Immanuel – God with us. 

Not that I’ve actually mastered this lesson yet.  Far from it: I use my writing to understand and teach myself, remember?  I’m ashamed to admit that I spent most of the day kinda grumpy.  But praise God for a new day with new mercies!

And, look, it’s almost midnight again.  Clearly, Christmas break means long, rambling posts written late at night.

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snow was falling, snow on snow… a weary world rejoices

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