Sunday, April 22, 2012

Relational Calculus

I've been navigating some tricky concerns personally and professionally lately. I've had some tough conversations recently and I know there are more to come. I've spent a lot of time contemplating what truth is and who needs to know it and how much and when and and and... It all feels like tricky grown up business I may not be qualified for. I know it's worth trying to do things right. That's the goal. Right just seems so nebulous sometimes.

Unfortunately, the more I do life, the more I realize how much gray muddies the day to day. Not so many years ago I swear it all seemed more black and white. Interpersonal communication and profesional ethics have since become many layered decisions with unpredictable and varied outcomes. (Alas!!)

It's like high school math all over again. I was reasonably good at math - until they took the numbers away. Math took time, but I could usually get it right. And when I got it right, it was unquestionably correct and the same every time you successfully completed that problem. So satisfyingly predictable!

Then, they took the numbers away. Suddenly, calculus rocked my world with its symbols and I distinctly recall there occasionally being more than one way to express the right answer (not to mention myriad ways to get it wrong.). I remember thinking that graphing calculator was the worst and least helpful device known to man. Unlike all other calculators I'd ever used, it managed to make math harder instead of easier.

Lately, I feel like I'm navigating relational calculus. I feel like life has taken away all the "numbers" I understood and replaced them with symbols whose meaning may change depending on what is around them. Except, there are real lives in play. People to be hurt or healed by my words and actions.

And the thing I'm left with is a lot of questions. Time spent praying for clarity because I'm not even sure what else to ask for. Time reading the Bible. Time consulting other relevant resources. Seeking wise counsel from trusted advisors. It's all in pursuit of finding the right things to do in the right order with the right supports in place. It all feels like a graphing calculator. I know that graphing calculator was supposed to be my best friend. My calculus teacher said so many times. I just didn't know how to interpret all the output I was getting. I still don't.

I don't think calculus and I were meant for one another. I have a feeling though, that once again that's not going to get me out of it. Anybody know where I can find a good life tutor?

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