For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Ironing Out the Wrinkles Without Getting Steamed

I thought I would take a few minutes to post before I get to my ironing. I set the ironing board up in front of the television, and I get a big glass of ice tea to keep me cool while the steam pours from my iron. Then, I got to town, as we say in the South.

Personally, I like ironing. It has a spiritual aspect to it that makes me feel good about myself, or at least about the process of being myself.

The process of being myself has its wrinkles. Ask these wonderful folks who live in my house. They can confirm I have wrinkles, but they have wrinkles, too, and if you've ever had a wrinkle in your sock under your foot while you are wearing tennis shoes and having to walk a lot, you know how annoying wrinkles can be. You also know that while trying to get wrinkles out can be aggravating and hard, it is necessary for peace and comfort. You know what I mean? You try to just do a little adjustment, but if that doesn't work, you try something a bit more involved. Only in a final state of resolution do you actually take your shoe off and fix your sock. I guess some do that first thing, but most folks I know get by doing as little as they can to get enough comfort to keep going, and in truth, we ignore it as long as we can keep moving. If it doesn't impair us, we try to ignore it. It is only when we see taking the time to fix it as a greater good than ignoring it that we actually stop and address the problem.

What does a sock have to do with ironing? Well, wrinkles are wrinkles, and they have to be removed. With socks, there is the gratification of not walking on the uncomfortable wrinkle. With shirts or pants, the wrinkles are usually not uncomfortable, so sometimes the motivation to remove the wrinkles can be lacking. I motivate myself in other ways.

Ironing is my quiet time to catch a television show while the rest of the folks in our family do other chores. Typically, if I have a high laundry day, I finish watching a one-hour show just about the time I finish the ironing. The ironing doesn't seem so long or so boring that way.

How is that spiritual? We all have wrinkles whether they be within our character or our lives, and they must be worked through. Most of us would avoid working out the wrinkles if we could because it is hard work and sometimes flat out painful, and unfortunately, when they happen, they tend to become our focus. In fact, we become so absorbed by them that they can cause us to see nothing else, and when that happens, we start to lose hope and feel that that life has become nothing more than what we are working through. That is a dangerous place to be. Things and people we enjoy keep our minds from becoming overly engrossed by the problems or tasks of whatever size that beset us. Sometimes they can help us keep pace for when we will be past a circumstance such as an illness, a life change, or the final stretch to reach a goal.

The Bible says where there is no vision, the people perish. If I don't see an end to the pile of wrinkles, I can easily become so overwhelmed by them that I don't bother to address them at all. Television gives me a vision for being done with a necessary task that I really don't care to do. The wrinkles get addressed, and I don't get buried in them.

May you find a vision in the midst of ironing out your wrinkles......

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