I've never been good at following written instructions of any kind... Manuals to set up my iDevices, Little Tykes toys for my young children at Christmas time, or new electronics around my house; recipes in my favorite cookbooks (I always add to, subtract from or veer off in a totally different direction); GPS gizmos or, God forbid, Mapquest directions. I believe the good Lord provided me with two brilliant, directionally-savvy children to help me with such necessary but frustrating things as instructions. Unfortunately, however, my children aren't always available and I find myself blundering aimlessly along the highway, the digital world and lately even life. Some may call it adventurous, others foolhardy. Whatever you want to call it, I think it's time to teach myself some patience, some discipline and some self-reliance.
This is not to say that I won't continue to take a back road when a 4-lane highway would be a better choice (yes, Shay, I know what you're thinking), or won't add a BIG healthy shot of crushed red chili flakes and extra black pepper to my pimiento cheese. To change some ways of doing things would make me not me. That's no good to anyone, least of all me. What I'm referring to, my dear friends, is re-learning to navigate the choppy waters of all sorts of relationships in my life-- reading the red WARNING flags indicating turbulent surf or the purple ones for dangerous marine life (sharks, jellyfish and stingrays, oh, my!) instead of blindly surfing over them and then naively wondering how I got stung or got sucked into a rip current or had my foot chomped off. That seems to happen to me a lot lately, ignoring warning flags at my own peril. I've been catfished twice dating online (that's a blog for another day, lol), been thrown under the bus trying to help a friend ( no good deed...), watched a family member being overtaken by vultures and a myriad other little mishaps in my life because I often fail to recognize a sign, even if it's flashing neon. God is surely shaking His head at me.
Soooo.... what's a girl to do? I should be wise by now; I'm certainly old enough. My best friend told me more than once that I am a slow learner. She is right. But I'm also too trusting, too positive, too optimistic, too idealistic, too hopeful. Are these flaws in my essential character? I don't think necessarily so, in moderation. I'm just asking for a mega dose of discernment, combined with a little wariness, some street smarts and a map. I reminded myself this morning when I was re-reading a favorite Beth Moore book that I have access to the best Book of instructions ever written. It's just been laying at my bedside for a while under some magazines, my novel of the week and my iPad. It's past time to pull it off the bottom of the stack, dust it off and start reading those directions to help me navigate the highways, byways and channels of my world.