Seems to be used more as a self-serving cliche to help us get through negative life experiences with people. Have we considered it in its entirety, regardless of a positive or negative experience, just as what life seems to be, cyclical in nature.
Someone does us wrong, or we do a good deed that goes unrecognized. We are quick to say that what goes around, will come around. We believe in karma, in as far as people receiving the raw end of the bargain that they dish out, or in receiving a good turn for work done on our end. How about all instances of our lives. Let’s explore this concept further.
If you look at all areas of your life from as far back as you can remember, and allow yourself to see things from a “filmic” point of view, in that, you are the spectator looking in, you will find multiple “similar” situations occurring in your life.
You may find that all your relationships mirror the same conflicts. You may find that you are always struggling to make ends meet. You may find that jobs and opportunities find you without a hitch. You may find that what you say for yourself usually comes true. You may find that you are always looking out for people, and no one is looking out for you. You may find that you are always in a position to help people, whether you wanted to or not. You may find that good things have always happened for you. Whatever you find, they all seem to form a pattern and a way of fitting into your life, so that you are not sure but know how most life events will work out.
I believe, that life will always give us similar opportunities, for our good, if we are aware and open to them. I believe that it is not a coincidence that some people seem to always fall into good fortune, while the opposite can be said of others. I do not believe in coincidences, and especially more so now that I know my good Lord. There are no chance happenings in life, however, as with all things, we do have the right to decide how we view things.
Do we let things happen in our lives because we felt we had little to no choice in the matter? Do we feel that things happen to us, because we are doomed to struggle in life? Do we believe that we are fortunate because we must have done something good in a previous life, or have generations of prayers unfolding in our plans? Do we believe that God orders all our steps, and we are walking in our set paths? Whatever we believe, let us look at the idea that life provides a multitude of like situations for our good.
We may be fortunate to say that we have always been employed, that work just happens to fall into our lives. This may also be said about money or love sources. We simply find ourselves out of one relationship and straight into another. We find ways of making money that overlap each other without thought, however timely. We are always sought by employers and need not send out numerous resumes or CVs, and barely know what a lengthy unemployment period feels like. What has our mindset been with all these different situations?
When one event seems to be ending, what are we usually thinking about the whole thing? For example, a relationship that is not working, and is on its way out, what do we think about it? How about the job that is ending, what do we tell ourselves about the situation? And the money source that seems to be drying out, what do we tell ourselves about that? When the new opportunity or love interest drops into our lives, as it would always seem to be, how do we view each situation? What do we tell ourselves about what is happening and/or about to happen?
What about those of us who do not seem so lucky. We are always alone, or without a job, and know more empty bank accounts than full, what do we tell ourselves at each turn? Since we are so familiar with the loneliness of waiting for the next opportunity, or love interest, even money source, what do we tell ourselves during this time? What do we tell ourselves when the next opportunity and interest shows up?
This is an invitation to look at the events of our lives, to see if we have learned anything from previous cyclical situations. I posit that we do not go into monetary or personal opportunities, looking for the next one. I believe, that regardless of the temporary feeling (this will not last, or let me milk this while I can), deep down, we are all looking for some sort of permanence. We are hoping to grow, however, not in a new environment, but in the one in which we have now found ourselves. How though, can we do this, if we fail to see the significance of repeated situations, and the lessons we have failed to learn from them?
If we find ourselves in an employment opportunity that lasts, thinking back to the times when we hopped from job to job may be chalked down to immaturity, and a lack of commitment. We may not realize, that the reason we have stuck out in our employment, is because we have let go of the initial ideals we were looking for (thus settled), or actually found what we wanted (contentedness). In this case, the cyclical pattern of employment listlessness ends, and what we are left to do is move on up as far and as wide as we can in our cemented opportunity.
This also goes for personal relationships. We may settle into a relationship, or find one that is just right for us, and now grow and spread within the relationship, thereby ending the cyclical engagement we previously were in. Have we, however, looked at these situations as lesson learned? The litmus test in determining whether we have or not, is in the other areas of our lives. Are the other areas of our lives still following cyclical patterns? Or do all things seem to have fallen into place, when one area of our life did.
The value in reviewing this, is in determining what life is trying to show us can change, if we are willing to put in the hard work. God is kind and ever-merciful, providing immeasurable amount of time, and opportunity for change and growth. This is done in the opportunities and events that take place in our lives. For example, If we have not learned to be committed, multiple opportunities are offered in the difficult employment and personal relationships that come our way.
Difficult does not signify difference of opinion in this essay. It means difficult for us to be comfortable. We may feel like the opportunity or person is beneath us, does not work for our intended results, or help us grow in any way. What we fail to see, is that for this very reason, it would be difficult to be committed. We are looking for something good to first come our way, and then we can be committed to it. So say this is the case, where then have we learned the necessary skills to keep us committed, should things go wrong?
Life is such that, it cannot be good all the time. Rough patches are met, stormy days and listless nights are a part of our existence. If we were handed good things from the beginning, how would we know how to work to keep them good? God handed us Christ from our beginning, the Best gift we could ever hope to receive. This does not mean that we all have recognized and kept Him.
Some of us go into a job or personal relationship head on, noting all its flaws, and after what seems to be a lengthy (hardly) time in our books, throw in the towel. For others, we watch the job or personal relationship from the sidelines, noting the flaws, and deciding not to tackle the situation at all. When we eventually do, we do not allow any period of time to pass before we throw in the towel. Yet others fall in and out of jobs and relationships, noting the flaws as we go along, and keep walking right out, so that there is no delineation between when one thing ended and another started. If we know in this instance that a lack of commitment is the culprit, and do nothing about it, we fall victim to the repetitive cycle.
Should we recognize that a lack of commitment has severely hindered our quest for committed (thus filled with content) employment and/or personal relationships, and work to fix it, magic happens. All other areas of our lives begin to drastically improve. The magic is simply that we begin to employ the lessons and skills learned from one aspect of our lives, onto others. We see the benefits of having learned our lessons, in the life skills that we acquire, that allow us to be strengthened in character and spirit, so that no matter the weather, storm or shine, our pace in whatever we do does not change. We can then move on to the next lesson.
All these lessons are not so that we spend our lives being students. It is so that in this tumultuous world, we can navigate our lives to success, and keep the success. I am not speaking of financial success, but success in balance. The success I speak of, is of being able to look at one’s life at any given time and think I am happy. I can honestly say that I am happy. This being regardless of whether there is money in the bank, food on the table, or a job waiting for you tomorrow. This being in spite of the demanding job, difficult personal relationship, or uncertain future.
So yes, what goes around, comes around. In all things. We were not created to lack or be miserable. It is not in the cards for some of us to always be in pain, or wanting for things. The problem is that in our situations, we are too self-indulgent to recognize that there has always, and will always, be a better way. It is not something that we can control, and we will not be able to fast forward or rewind. We will not be able to bail out or change the circumstance. The lesson is in the imperfect opportunity that has come your way, with your hard work (work not words) and in God’s time, made perfect. Not for a time, but for always. As with all things, it is entirely up to us and how serious we truly are about changing any of our situations.
So the next time it nags you that you do not have a job, a partner, money, a car, a friend or whatever the situation may be, start with yourself. What have you not learned, and are you ready to put in the very hard work needed now, so that you may say something else instead next time.