A wise person will always find a way.
Problems, problems everywhere and sometimes not a solution to see.
My grandfather could ‘rig things up’— finding a method to make something we needed out of what was available in the house or yard. Wire hangers, string and glue were miracle items. He’d come up with a way to fix most things that were broken, even if he really didn’t know a lot about it. I often watched him in those moments—thoughtful and determined.
My mother got this know-how from her father. In running her household she created makeshift wheelbarrows or tools to get her hauling or yard work done. She’d even try a few wiring jobs or faucet fixes— getting them in a condition she could use for her purposes. My mother’s physical strength was also something to behold. On visits to her house I’d notice that furniture would sometimes be in a different location than before and I wondered how it got from point A to B, knowing she was home alone. When asked she’d say, “I moved it by doing…” explaining her strategy. As Voltaire, the French philosopher stated, “No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.” My mother would give every challenge her best effort.
If anyone needed items repaired, she’d figure it out. I took broken pieces of luggage, flawed hemmed slacks and household knickknacks to her to make right. She’d touch the object and look it over. Then say, “Give me that thing, ay Lawd. Let me see here, Umph, Umph, Umph. Maybe I can do something with it.”
And yet my mother and grandfather both encountered situations that they alone couldn’t mend. Repair specialists would be called in. Sometimes the thing to be fixed wasn’t an object but a money or personal matter. Those would just be what they were – another issue to play out at another time. Or there were some problems my grandfather and mother decided to let go of or turned them over to God to make a way.
I’ve tried my best to be a problem solver—sometimes that’s good, others not. When my mother was sick with leukemia, I hoped I could do something to make this situation better or go away. Busying myself by talking to her medical team, researching her condition and managing details in her home consumed me. One day when I was in fixing mode my mother looked at me and said, “You can dot every i and cross every t, but you can’t fix this.” I sat stupefied and scared – not wanting to face the reality of what she said. My purposeful assault on her illness helped but would not repair. The solutions of her life were in the Lord’s plan and hand.
I had to learn what my grandfather and mother knew about some of this journey’s problems. My job was to sit back and let the Lord work it out according to His will. That’s the best way —always!
What do we know about problems?
- We will have them
- Some are relative
- They travel together
- We have to think about them
- Not all of them can be solved
- Some fix themselves
- Sometimes they set up shop for a while
- Murphy’s Law stands
- Some are harder than others
- We need help with some of them
- Pursue options
- Consider the root cause
- Know when to turn them over to someone greater than ourselves