“Troubles, you see, is the generalization-word for what God exists in. The thing is not to get hung-up.” Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
This is one of my favorite literary quotes… My mind finds it scintillating every time I remember it… As much as I love the idea, experientially, I loathe troubles… I loathe inconveniences…
Here’s a list of some of the basic kinds of inconveniences I loathe:
- Flat tire
- Battery and/or generator problems in the car
- Lack of electricity
- Lack of water in the house
- Any type of plumbing problem
- Any type of electrical problem
- Broken toasters, coffee makers, hair dryers, microwaves
- Problems with refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers
- Home repair type issues of any variety
I suppose I hate all of these because of my general handyman ineptitude. After all these years I still find most repair type work intimidating.
On any given day I take for granted that my car will start, that my home will have water, that the refrigerator and washing machine will work… None of this takes into account the daily life of people in many other parts of the world that worry about having food to eat or not stepping into a building or bus that will blow up… I get this… my “troubles” are slight… they are in the inconvenience realm. Minor league all things considered.
Nonetheless… I loathe them.
Years ago I had the opportunity to attend a one day seminar with Scott Peck (author of The Road Less Traveled). He told the story of being on a Catholic retreat and visiting late at night with an old nun (whiskey bottle in tow)… He related his frustration and pain over marital problems he was having… She responded by saying, “That’s wonderful my son”.
This confused him, so he said, “Sister, I don’t think you understood me…”. He went on to restate his problems, pain, and anger. She replied, “Yes, I heard you the first time. This is wonderful”.
This really pissed him off and and he asked her what the hell she was talking about. She said something like this in response, “It’s only when we have troubles that we know we need G-d’s help and let G-d in”.
Here’s to a personal attempt to work towards a paradigm shift… As Dean puts it, “”Troubles, you see, is the generalization-word for what God exists in. The thing is not to get hung-up”.
Working on going with the flow (thanks to Marcus Aurelius) and being more receptive to inconveniences and trouble.