No Pasa Nada

(Written last night, 1:46am EDT)

As I’m flying to Seattle after a day… err… a week of total unpredictability, I just finished reading a chapter of a book I’ve struggled to read since late-2013. It’s entitled The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, by Jeff Goins. It was recommended by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. I have other books I’m currently reading but somehow I opened this book again for some unknown reason.

The timing of what was written on the pages I just read and what seems to be happening in my life at this very moment is uncanny. As you may have read in an earlier post, my wife Sharon broke her foot a scant 96 hours prior to us departing on an Alaskan cruise vacation. The vacation was (is) well-planned because, after all, I’m a supreme planner. I love to plan! I plan vacations, I plan 3-week-long motorcycle trips, I make business plans, I create marketing plans… I love to plan! I’m good at it and it normally pays off.

But my wife breaks her foot and it disrupts “the plan”. My reaction, as previously posted, was deplorable. Okay… confessed and forgiven. We flew from Charlottesville to Philadelphia and because of an amazing series of storms up the east coast (not to mention an approaching hurricane), all flights were grounded. Our five and a half hour layover in Philly – on the way to Seattle – turned into a 12-hour marathon of watching our flight status and human nature in the laboratory called Philadelphia International Airport.

We are airborne over Ohio, I’m guessing, and I read a quick story about the author’s experience in Spain as a college student one summer. He says:

“They have a phrase — ‘no pasa nada’ — which literally means ‘nothing happens.’ It’s similar to the American phrase ‘no big deal.’ Late for a meeting? No pasa nada. Need to skip class today to take care of a personal issue? No pasa nada. Such a cultural mindset was freeing; and the more of it I experienced, the more I wanted. And although it took months of rebellion before I could succumb to this laid-back way of life, that little expression eventually saved me. There was a power to those words, a potency in embracing the unexpected. That simple, carefree little phrase taught me to let go of my little plans in exchange for a bigger picture. It meant being able to laugh at myself at times and accept when things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.”

When I read those words somewhere over who-knows-where, I almost couldn’t believe it! God has created a perfect storm of sorts in order to speak the words “No pasa nada” into my life. Embracing the unexpected.

Sounds like a plan.

Listening

I’m having trouble writing recently. I don’t think it’s so-called “writer’s block” because I have all sorts of thoughts rolling around in my head (contrary to what my friends and family think). I’m just trying to “listen” more in this short season in my life.

I gave my notice at work about 30 days ago and my last day is June 30th. I had planned some summer travelling, first with my wife Sharon and then motorcycling out west. It’s roughly a six-week hiatus.

For the past couple of weeks and for the upcoming six-week period, I plan on talking less and listening more. Writing is the equivalent of talking, so I plan to write a bit less in the hopes that my ears will be open to God’s leading.

I recently wrote an inscription in a gift book my wife and I gave our high school graduate granddaughter which included something like this:

“Your entire life is seemingly before you and you’ll be facing many decisions and ‘forks in the road’. You’ll wonder which way to go. How will you know what decision to make? How will you make the right decision? It’s simple, really.

“Follow the instruction found in God’s Word:

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.’
(Proverbs 3:5-6)”

I pray she follows those simple verses all of her days. I pray I follow those words for the next six weeks or so (and all of my days).

So… less talking, more listening.