I now have a much better understanding of Forrest Gump. You know, “Stupid is as stupid does!” Just because you know you are behaving stupidly, it doesn’t mean you can stop doing it. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit which I have been seriously lacking since March 14, the day my dear wife Loretta died. My reaction to trauma of this kind is a kind of adrenaline overload.
Of course, this is what Forrest experienced when his mamma died. The result: he began to run back and forth across the United States. If you remember the movie, along the way he invented the smiley face and the bumper sticker for “stuff” happens! So stupid people running can be productive!
My mentor, John Wimber, used to talk about the orange trees during the springtime in Orange County, California. How on a beautiful spring evening you could hear them “groaning” to produce fruit. Of course, this was his way of saying that one does not strain to produce the fruit of the Spirit. You can’t earn them, or get them from indulgences or good works. The fruit of the Spirit comes from “walking” in the Spirit and I am a continual learner in that regard.
I have had plenty of advice on how to handle my adrenaline enhanced experience, running the gamut from which psychotropic medication to take to criticism on my “presentation” to others. Frankly, the half-crazed, adrenaline-overloaded, non-sleeping, running man is not really capable of responding well to this advice. He just keeps “running.” In my case I was running from my calling and my “place” in the world, the Ranch.
I kept hoping that the “buddy” brothers and sisters, somebody, nobody, everybody and anybody would step up and do the things that nobody else but I can do. Unfortunately if I am gone, the “buddys” don’t water the trees or pick up all the trash. Here is a truth I have figured out: “There is only one unique me, and I do have a function and purpose in the world.” I have also come to realize that in the midst of the pain, and perhaps the misunderstanding of others, there is one who comforts and understands always.
He is the “buddy” I am clinging to as I navigate the pain of remaining at the place that holds so many memories, both good and bad, of Loretta. When I figured out that Arizona is only a temporary fix for the “running” and grieving man, my soul found peace. I am not done “growing up” nor am I done grieving, but I’m getting better at both things.