Thursday, April 9, 2009


Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about how resilient or unresilient I am.  My husband and I were talking about how unresilient we are as a culture and nation. We are privileged, that much is true. And that privilege has created an attitude of entitlement in us. We expect life to be easy, to be blessed abundantly by God at all times and to not have to work or struggle for anything. Thus we are unresilient.

Preparation is seen as fear in our day and age. I was thinking that we should keep more water and a few days of imperishable food on hand. We would do this not out of fear, but just because it is simply wise. Strangely, in doing this I feel like I am succumbing to fear in some way or another. However, time and time again God's word tells us that the wise prepare for the unknown and for the future, "Four things are small on the earth. But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong folk, But they prepare their food in the summer..." (Proverbs 30:25)
This is a major theme of my be so strong, prepared and wise in my role as a wife and woman of God that I can blithely look at the future and laugh at it because I know I have done everything in my power to make it good for my family.

The other day I was noticing that nearly every door is labeled with instructions on how to open it. Usually, the door has this instruction, "Push here to open door."  This struck me, how ridiculous is is that we need to be told how to open a door. Seriously, it is a DOOR! Push or pull, you can get it opened...unless it is locked...then use a key!  One could say it is because they are all different, but the truth is that some where down the line some one sued someone because they got hurt because their wasn't a label and they wanted money for their own mistake or stupidity. We are actually benefited by not being resilient and for taking responsibility for our actions or lack there of.  We are encouraging a lack of resilience! 

Many of us are dealing with financial problems these days. I understand that and have sympathy for those that have lost jobs, are having to cinch up their belt a hole. However, we are Americans. We come from the same sturdy stock that use to ignore tighten their belts and would instead "pick themselves up by their bootstraps."  Yes, picking yourself up by boot straps is impossible. But they tried the impossible and became privileged because of it.  That leads to We are privileged and unresilient because of resilient and never-give-up kind of people that came before us.  I am challenged to develop more fortitude, more courage, and more resiliency.

We are going through a recession. My grandma was a child during the Great Depression. She didn't really speak fondly of her childhood. She told me her mother, Ruth, made them clothes out of scraps and flour sacks. She had to wear shoes with card board in the bottom to keep her feet dry, and that her dad had a few different jobs during that time. She often talked about how important it was for them to keep giving to others. That homeless and jobless men often came to their door and at the least milk and bread was given to them and her father often allowed the guest to clean up and use his own razor. She said they just lived the best they could every day and that they were grateful to God for each provision. Where has that resilient and generous attitude gone? I think by way of our privilege.

'Resilient" is defined as, "the physical property of a material that can return to its original shape or position after deformation."  Basically, the core of your make up is unchanged through stress and pressure.  To be honest, this isn't me. I tend to throw it all to the wind when I am under stress or things get "too hard" for me. I question everything, who I am and who God is. Resiliency is the opposite, it is holding firm to your foundations whilst the winds blow and buffet you. However, when it is over you are the same...perhaps even stronger.

I have had opportunitys recently to question my self: How are you dealing with life's struggles?  Are you diminished, a lesser person through it, or unchanged or made stronger? Do you put your hope in things that will fail you (leaders, systems, empty words)? Do you seek after those things that will never fail? I have taken hope and joy in this, "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." James 1:17  We can be resilient because he is the foundation of variation or shifting shadow!

1 comment:

Megan said...

You are so insightful, Marci. I loved reading this post. We have had to tighten our belts AND pick ourselves up by our bootstraps because the family business (my hubbie's family) has just about gone under. I am in school, taking care of kids, working occasionally, fulfilling my responsibilities at church and so one. We just keep moving forward with faith.

As a side note, we are encouraged in our church to have a minimum of 3 months supply of food, water, cooking fuel, etc. We have maybe a couple of weeks worth, but someday we'll get there...