Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Grandparenting with Grace:The Ripple Effect (How our actions affect Others)

Life doesn’t work out as planned for us. Without a faith in God, that assures me He is at work for my best and that of those I love, many times I would have given up. The older I get, the more my life does not flow as I have perceived it would.

We make life-altering decisions that affect the lives of others; as the proverbial saying goes, “Like a pebble tossed in a pond sends out ripples, our lives touch others with its ripples and theirs, ours.” Although at some points, such as now, in this my final few decades of life, as the last chapters of my life story are being written and the pages of the past begin to yellow and take on that musty smell common to old and neglectfully forgotten books, it has felt as if I am standing on the opposite shore of all other lives that touch mine, and rocks are being thrown. I am losing my shoreline to the erosion of the choices (chaos) of others.

As for me, I pray I choose to toss pebbles of encouragement and affirmation. Life is hard; the last thing I want to be doing is throwing rocks at the fragility of others.

I could stem the damage being done to me, but at what cost to an innocent? I refuse to throw the huge boulders needed to stem the raging waves that are eating away at what should be my peaceful sandy shores. Yet, I like to think that the rocks will enhance my foundation of faith and trust, and one day I will realize that a shore of peaceful sand held a misconception of importance.

Unfortunately, knowing these things does not remove, or even diminish, the pain that holds me captive behind the growing wall of rocks amassing my life’s shoreline. I believe, one day I too will put on the harness of a rock climber and scale that imposing wall of rock and all will be chaos free. Then, as I stand atop what was meant to bury me and defeat my spirit beneath its crushing weight, I will see the entire vast array of what my life was purposed to be.

My prayer is that I will have chosen to toss out into life the proper pebbles. Pebbles causing truthful ripples in the waters that caressed the lives of others more often than having chosen, inadvertently or selfishly, those that caused demolition and destruction. My biggest fear is that I would have callously caused another life to withdraw from riding on the sparkling waters of life because my pebble’s ripples caused too much pain. I pray I will never force another to retreat from rippling the hopeful and promising waters of their life because of  my choices.

We often are not sure how our ripples will interact with those of another life until the pebble has left our hand, hit the water, and the ripples actually subside, leaving what looks like calm waters, but we all know water moves beneath its still smooth surface. My hope and prayer for those I love is that the ripples that rise and fall from the present pebbles that they have tossed are ones that cause well-being toward others. I pray that as God orchestrates the lives of those I love, the swell from their pebbles continue to touch others for years to come in a kind and gentle way.

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