Friday, October 24, 2008

The road that goes nowhere

No, not "the bridge to nowhere" that Sarah Palin kept and then rejected. Not going to get political (today at least!).

I was talking with John last night about his current research project going nowhere. Since our world pretty much consists of "good research" = "getting a PhD finally", it is always very discouraging when work doesn't go well for him (you can guess why, after many years of school!). I wanted to pray, wanted to ask God to help him, but what do you say??? "C'mon God, take care of us!" (Abby said the other day that it wouldn't be very nice to yell at God, I told her, well, I think it's OK, lots of us do it sometimes!).

More often than not, I find my own words in the words of someone else - a song, a book, a quote, a comic. This was no exception. I read this this morning, with cartoons blaring the background:

"Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
Grace me with your clear revelation." Psalm 119:29


Ha - there's the words I can use to pray (and maybe you too). So I'm with Gov. Palin on this, we don't want that bridge/road that goes to nowhere... God, keep us from spinning our wheels, spending years going down a wrong path. You know the feeling, the frustration and wondering if this is the right road, right?

Maybe God doesn't always give us a yellow brick road to follow, but I'll take a "Bridge out" or "Road closed sign" instead - even if it's initially discouraging.

God, for John, just turn that direction of research into a barricaded dead end if it's going Nowhere, and then show him where to go instead. And for all the others, who are pursuing promotions, new babies, new friends in a brand new city, wisdom from doctors, a meaningful life, barricade what's NOT going to go anywhere, so they find your path with a lightening bolt of revelation.

3 comments:

Dad Evans said...

My principal's husband, a bio-chemical engineer, commented to his wife as they were watching the dusk sky, "Isn't interesting how chemical influence color?" And I thought of John's research. Maybe nature has some suggestions/insights that are pertinent. Then I saw an article on lantern fish is a text I was using with some kids at school. So I googled lantern fish chemistry and found some links like: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/113322530/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 "Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened." Maybe the barricaded way just needs some knocking, seeking, and asking?

Maybe none of the above helps John, but I think this is how the discovery process works...

Dad Evans said...

Another thought, I've often found that when I'm not finding the "right" answers, it was because I was asking the wrong questions. For example, I never was able to lose weight until I changed my goal to losing fat. That simple change of focus helped me find a whole different set of solutions as I redefined my problem.

A great read is Gerald Weinberg's book, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. Regardless of the discipline, he helps people learn to think more effectively.

JERALDandLESLIE said...

Joanna, I'm really enjoying your thoughts here. right now our "bridge to SOMEWHERE" is complicated!...more later!--I'm tired!