Friday, February 15, 2008

The problem with "fixing"


If you ever want to test the patience of a person give them a task, deadline, or goal and then hand them the one thing they need to accomplish this "something" broken. Talk about a trying situation. I see this everyday in my life when the copy machine has a paper jam, my computer won't bring up my email, I get a busy signal while on the phone, or the mother of all frustrations - TRAFFIC. Now there are those people who will dig in their heels, scream, and hit something (in the case of the copy machine that is) and then there are the "problem solvers" that quickly assess and make alternate plans or creatively make it work.

Ok, take the same situation and apply it to your life . . . . to your future . . . . to your heart. There are those things in life that we encounter that seem to be broken: the single man waiting for "the one" to marry, the wife who longs to be a mother but is finding those hopes dashed, the out of work 20-something that can't figure out their passion, or the Christian who finds themselves in a dark place of monotany and mechanical faith. You often see the same reactions as above, those who bemoan their predicament and those who seek to "fix it."

Now my question is this, is "fixing it" the right thing to do? Oh I admire all those who pull up their belts and get to work on making things better but is that all their trying to do? Are they getting to the goal in any way possible? And is that a good thing?

Focusing on the first and the last examples let's take a look at the outcomes:

Single man/woman longing to be married. Quick fix: Get married. It doesn't matter who, when, where, just get to the goal. The box is checked off, you accomplished the task, but was this the outcome you wanted? Is this what you hoped and dreamed for?

Christian in that place beyond questioning their faith but still lacking the passion they might have once heldfast. Quick fix: pray, read, study, talk the talk until you end up walking the walk or better fake it till you make it. Really? Is that the path to passion? Can passion be found in the mechanical quick fixes we immediately go to (or are led to believe (i.e taught) are what we should do)?

I often find myself in situations where I know the answers, I know the steps to "fix it" but a part of me holds back because they feel so mechanical, so goal driven, so end result focused. And while there is nothing I would want more than to reach the goal and hold that trophy (whatever it is) high in the air, I can't help but stop myself from going through another step by step fix it list. I want more, I want something real, something hard and difficult, something that doesn't look neat and clean and have a sure fire result at the end. I want real and often real isn't found with a "fix it".


Anonymous chirky said...

Hey, you're back.

This entry reminds me: have I told you lately that you should submit some of your writings to a Christian magazine?

2/15/2008 5:21 PM  
Blogger "Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

I agree with Chirky: you should definitey submit some of your writings. I am glad that you took the time to write this. Praying for you that you resist the "do-it-yourself" tendency.

2/16/2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger green said...

quick fixes are usually the result of an impatient person.

Another analogy, which works in my mind anyway, would be:

You go to the store and see X. You have $20 in your pocket but X costs $40. Then you see Y. Both X and Y are non returnable items. Y is not quite the same but close enough and is affordable with that $20 you have. Do you satisfy the need now with the cheaper Y or do you wait and save a little bit more to get X, which you really want. Do you have the patience to wait for X?

So you decide to get Y now to satisfy the need/greed. But once you get it home it either a) isn't as good as you thought {or as the packaging made it look} or b) it breaks soon after you take it out of the box.

Now you have to wait twice as long for X and you don't have Y either.

2/18/2008 6:21 PM  
Blogger David Malouf -- said...

"A problem is usually not solved at the same 'level' that created the problem." (paraphrase of Albert Einstein)

I often find that dichotomies are an issue of using the wrong measuring device. When you "measure" out the problem to find a solution, and the solution doesn't "work", maybe it's the measuring that's off (and not the "formula").

Perhaps you're measuring the problem/solution with either (1) someone else's ruler or (2) the wrong scale altogether.

Both of the examples you keyed-in have a pretty significant, relational aspect to them...

What if what you're looking for isn't a "fixed" solution (ruler of action) but a journey-ing partner (ruler of relationship)?

2/19/2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger David Malouf -- said...

Oh, I forgot -- Sweet Post!!


2/19/2008 12:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home