Alright, so we all clearly have problems, right? Enough problems to easily fill a blog or two for the rest of this millennium. But today I was struck by the way that problems unite us as humans. Without them, we fancy ourselves as unique floating vessels. With them, we realize our vessels need support and guidance from other ships who have sailed the waters already. (Note: I’m not negating the need for God. I’m simply pointing out that He was brilliant to make us as humans all susceptible to problems so that we might be comforted to know that we are not alone.)
Here’s an example: today I had a lovely dinner at some family friends’ house. We shared about life, relationships, jobs, past experiences, and so on. The host asked me how I liked my new apartment. “I like it” I responded before pausing. “Well, we have a mice problem.”
“You do?” she responded. “Have you found anything that works to get rid of them? “
And then I realized, she was not asking to be polite. She was asking because they too had a mice problem and they had not figured out a solution. Suddenly, my interest in this conversation increased. I passionately shared with her what we had tried; what worked, what didn’t. And I felt instantly comforted to know, we are not alone in the battle against mice.
Today, I also was reminded that I am not alone in wondering whether the choices I am making for the future are the correct ones. As I shared with a couple close friends about the doubts I have, I saw that they have wondered the same things before. Is this career choice the right one? Should I live here or there? Should I be dating this person? And we kind of ended the conversation without any answers because we all don’t really know. And yet, we felt comforted to know that we are united in the unknowing. Because sometimes we make poor decisions. Because sometimes we make good ones. Because there is comfort in sharing the experience (as troubling as it is) with others. Because we all live in the ambiguity of not knowing for sure and yet having to press onward. Because there is grace in the midst of our problems that we mess up.