A Soft Place to Fall

randomlychad  —  November 11, 2013 — 4 Comments

Widely regarded as the best film in the franchise, Raiders of the Lost Ark is replete with iconic lines. Lines such as:

“It’s not the years, it’s the mileage,” and

“I’m making this up as I go.”

This is true of me, too: my life has (if not similar adventures, or dangers) been a process of making it up as I go. Not having examples, or mentors, I’ve had to figure out how to be a husband and dad. And I thought coming to Christ would fill my life with meaning and purpose; in a sense, it has.

However, at forty-four, I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do, or who I’m supposed to be. I have a great job, which had become a career, that I fell into. (Looking back, I believe it was God guiding me). The job provides for my family and I, but it’s not fulfilling in the deepest sense. In fact, I can’t point to any one thing which has fulfilled me.

That, I think, is my problem–the crux of the matter. I’m still, at forty-four, looking to things outside of myself to define me. It’s a never-ending quest, a fruitless pursuit. The Constitution guarantees me the right to pursue happiness, but never defines just what that happiness is.

Don’t get me wrong: I have a wonderful wife, two great kids who adore me, and more blessings than I know what to do with. Everything I’ve looked to give me purpose and meaning has turned to dust and ashes. Victories which tasted sweet in my mouth turned sour in my belly.

Even this blog. I came to blogging in earnest when some real life friendships came to their different ends. The hard truth here is that friends are not friends forever (no matter what Michael W. Smith sings). The things I previously discussed with friends needed an outlet.

So I came here.

And mostly you (collectively) have been most kind, welcoming me with open arms. For this I’m very thankful.

But I would like to also apologize for placing upon you a burden you were never meant to carry; namely, I’m sorry for trying to elicit from you tacit statements that I matter. (“Please love me”).

My heart is a needy beast.

Everything I’ve done, if it’s been about anything, it’s about that: wanting to know that I matter. Because I grew up in a story where I didn’t. My dad was too lost in his own woundedness to pay any attention. And my mom was too busy trying to bridge gap.

Listen: I know I matter to my Heavenly Father. I know what’s true. But knowing and feeling are often two very different things. And it’s all too easy to lose sight of what one knows in the trenches of life. The voices tell me I don’t matter, but what’s true is that I’m loved by my Heavenly Father, that I’m a husband of almost twenty-three years, and a dad to two wonderful, precocious, sometimes frustrating, but always awesome kids.

No matter what else I do in life–if I never publish a book, or never do anything other than resolve technical issues
–no one can take that away from me.

I only hope that my kids aren’t as hobbled coming out of the gate. That they know their parents love them. That they know Jesus loves them.

That no matter what life throws at them they know that they are loved, and have a soft place to fall.

How about you? Who was your soft place growing up? Who’s your soft place now? Are you a soft place for someone?

It’s late, and I’m rambling. Please don’t forget about the Church Hopper giveaway here: Church Hoppers to the Rescue Click through to enter. Thanks!

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Ricky Anderson

    My folks have always been a safe place for me to fall. I’ve been blessed. And so are your kids.

    • That’s awesome, Ricky! I feel very blessed.

  • I can only pray that I’m a soft place for my wife. My soft place is probably her, though you understand as well as I how difficult that can be at times.

    • Oh, for sure. My wife has stories that would turn Casper a whiter shade of pale.