When Things Fall Apart

Five years ago, I started praying to God for problems. I asked my Higher Power to test me, to bring on challenges so I could become stronger and wiser. I wanted these tests to be hard and uncomfortable because I knew that the steel of my sword needed forging in fire and combat.

All of the guys in my men’s group looked at me like I was nuts. They were already uncomfortable and wanted life to get easier, calmer and more predictable. I don’t know if I changed anyone’s mind by my declaration and subsequent growth (and departure), but that’s their side of the fence. I knew what I wanted and prayed that it would come to pass.

Humans Start Dying When They Stop Growing

I believe that someone tried to steal our camper, yesterday. While we were away from home and the estate sale was taking place, someone decided to play with our future home.

When we pulled into the driveway, the jack at the front of the trailer was two feet higher and stuck in place. At first, we thought it may have been vandalism or a mechanical short in the system. While both of these are still possible reasons, the jack rose two feet off the ground!

That doesn’t sound like a mechanical problem. My best resources (campers, engineers) doubt it was a spontaneous event. It looks like a thief raised it to fit his pickup, was subsequently spotted, and then departed without his prize. Phew.

Beth and I were flabbergasted, afraid and angry. The estate sale, a huge success by all measures, had become something unanticipated – a new lesson.

One of the estate salespeople, Jim, tried to help me lower the jack to no avail. He saw that a fuse was blown and I went to an auto parts store to replace it. The jack would not move, mechanically or by its hand crank. I’ll get it fixed, but it’s annoying, right?

                                              I’m Alive and I’ll Thrive

My Higher Power has given me exactly what I need, again: a problem that triggers my loss of control and threatens my belief that the world is composed of kind people. I don’t want to believe that evil is out there, but that’s because I’ve grown up in relative comfort and safety. The young, naive Prince of Rye Brook is unhappy.

They say, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It’s true. This morning, I can feel my perspective shifting away from naivety to wisdom, from believing the world is safe to a more complex view of life. I need to prepare for the inevitable disappointments that can occur on the road. I need locks and insurance and wariness. These are all parts of being a Warrior on a quest.

When I was a younger man, I drove a motorcycle. As a precaution, I took a defensive driving program that helped me be aware of all the dangers involved in riding a bike. For a while, this new awareness absolutely spoiled the freedom I felt piloting down highways and the streets of NYC. Within a year, I sold my bike and stopped riding. Being a young father, it was a good move.

Things are different now. I can take risks and be prudent and feel free. It’s not a comfortable journey every day, but the dips and obstacles are the adventures just as much as the straightaways.

Take a risk/Be brave/Make a bold mistake or two/It’s okay if it feels completely wild/ For that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Scott Bierko “Create Without Caution”

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