Chipmunk Cheeks redux or my most humbling blogging experience
I’ve noticed from viewing my stats on my blog administrator that one of my most viewed posts is “Chipmunk Cheeks”. I have written over 50-some posts and this one gets the most new hits.
What is so humbling about this? Well, I didn’t write it; someone else did who happened to capture a concept so familiar to many of us that it bore reproducing. A friend of mine sent me the article after reading a few of my earlier posts that had to do with reactions to my cancer diagnosis. No doubt, she figured from the way I was telling my story that I could use some encouragement. She kindly wanted to share it with me and me in turn with others. Why? Because it was that good. But those niceties don’t take care of my wounded blogging pride! From now on all my posts will be titled: Chipmunk Cheeks, Part I, Chipmunk Cheeks, Part 2, Chipmunk Cheeks, Part 3, etc… You get the picture. It will trick folks Googling ‘cute chipmunks’ into reading my insightful posts.
Apart from the fact that chipmunks are so darn adorable with their puffed-out, nut- bloated cheeks there is a message in this post that is emotionally dead-on for us anxious types. In short this is written for the worriers and the “what if”-ers. We are folks with incredible imaginations – not particularly creative imaginations unless you count Stephen King as our role model. We are so good at thinking of all the ways things can go wrong – really catastrophically, cosmically wrong. If you are a 6 on the enneagram, like me, then you are fond of justifying the “what if-ing” stuff as the makings of a great troubleshooter. “How can I do my troubleshooting job if I am not fantasizing on all the pitfalls that a trip to Bermuda can entail?,” I say to my husband who just offered to take me on a vacation. (Hurricanes, bringing back bed bugs, killed riding mo-peds on the wrong side of the road.) When I go off on one of my “but what-if?” jags he likes to say, “Dona, do ever reread any of your blog posts?” (Read: do you practice what you preach?) So annoying. I am a blogger now, and a writer not a reader.
Troubleshooting only works up to a point. After that point, God waits for us to wave our white flags and allow his grace to attend to our present needs and not for those imagined future troubles.
This is funny up to a point. The hard core truth is that this habitual way of viewing the big scary world can quickly become faith-numbing insanity. “Dona,” I say to myself, “where is God in all this worry about the future? What are you fretting about? Who do you believe is really in charge?” Me, apparently. And I can’t know the future and that is driving my control freakishness to a frantic frenzy. I continue to talk to myself; reminding myself of the Chipmunk Cheeks article. Gathering all the trouble shooting ammo for all the troublesome future scenarios I can imagine will not enlist God’s grace now for an unknown future. Grace is operative for me in the present, however it presents itself. So, dear readers, read the Chipmunk Cheeks post for the first time or reread it. I am because I need to remind myself of important truths – not just once but many times. Our brains and our souls are trained by repetition. That is why the Psalms have the frequent refrain of remembering – reminding us who we are and who God is. Troubleshooting only works up to a point. After that point, God waits for us to wave our white flags and allow his grace to attend to our present needs and not for those imagined future troubles. And that grace is sufficient to carry us through the day.