Mind the Gap

I am the King of Rationalization. Okay, maybe not the King, but I am a Senator or some other high ranking official. And there is no term limit to my reign. I possess the gift (or curse, your call) of being able to analyze any situation from every possible angle and then work overtime to place it in a specific slot in history. This allows me to explain its “whys” and “how comes.” Another term for this particular expertise is “over thinking.” I engage in this exercise because it fills in the life gaps. I hate gaps. Gaps make for a bumpy ride. I want a smooth ride, all the asphalt filled in, all the planks in the boardwalk nailed tight. I guess it is human nature to want to be able to explain why things happen, why they exist the way they do. To be able to trace the “gazzintas*,” the A to B to C formula of life, and see how everything is interconnected and essential in developing the lives we lead. And most of the time I can figure things out—even if I am wrong. It helps that most of my theories are unprovable and I may never know if I am right. Or not. Having an answer of any kind, no matter how flimsy and weak, is better than a gap.

That is the wild card. There always seems to be that one thing (or four) that doesn’t make sense. It eats at you because there is no comfortable slot for it, there is no peaceful resolution—right OR wrong—and it gets forcefully filed under the heading of “God’s Mysterious Ways” (GMW). God gaps. Just based on the largeness and all-knowing attributes of God, they should be easier to deal with but they usually aren’t. I will admit, age has softened my stance on the God gaps and GMW. I used to dislike it, fight it, refuse to bend to it. But there have been enough of them over the years that I am either too tired to gyrate the manipulations or my faith has enlarged to the point of acceptance. It’s probably more of the former but I use the latter as a rationalization to make myself feel better.

And that is what I worry about. Do I use these rationalizations just as a balm? Or do the events really have deeper meanings? Is there anything wrong with just accepting events at face value and moving on? Is that even possible? “Now we see through a glass dimly...” I need to accept that no matter how often I clean my life glasses there will always be a film over the lenses, at least in my current manifestation. One day, the promise is I will see clearly. By then, most of the rationalized stuff probably won’t matter (at least I hope it won’t). Until then, I can’t promise to look away from the tea leaves or not hold my damp finger in the air to test the wind. But I will promise to not hold on too tight to my theories and trust that, however things shake out, there is a plan, a God plan, and it doesn’t matter if I understand it or not. And I will continue to step gingerly over the gaps.

*gazzintas: a term popularized by Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies television show. When asked about his 6th grade ed-u-cation, he would explain that he knew his gazzintas: one gazzinta two, two times; two gazzinta four, two times... Simple math made simpler.

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