Just the word standing alone is enough for some.
For most, it’s dealt with (whether you like it or not) on an everyday basis. This unseen force that can make or break a persons’ psyche; if one is under the grip of such a moment or moments for a time too long.
Feeling pressure, dealing with pressure… we come under fire constantly, as it can take a toll on everything we do as a society, or just one on one with our daily matters and rituals.
Pressure, I believe somewhat unfair, gets a negative ‘knock’ on life and yet this hidden from view feeling can also make you do unbelievable acts on the grand stage.
What’s the positive outlook of pressure? Being determined, accomplishing a goal, setting a milestone, overcoming the odds, all the while dealing with the negative pressure of what happens or could happen… if this something you are dealing with, doesn’t work out acceptably.
To me, it doesn’t matter how the pressured event in the now, presently came to be; planned or unplanned – it just is there and does. Some call this chance, fate, karma, etc. but all you really must know, is that you must prove to yourself (nobody else) that you are strong enough physically and strong enough mentally, spiritually, and soulfully. I call it “fighting the good fight” … So get your gloves on!
This is what reality brings to the table and has shown us since the birth of time itself. Nobody but NOBODY is immune to the power of pressure. You just must take it and attempt to embrace it… because there is no avoiding it – and boy, did I have to embrace it a few short weeks ago.
This is a story I’ll call “Mistaken Jesus”.
My car needs maintenance this holiday weekend, which is much overdue. Thankfully, I’m just handy enough to take care of the bare necessities and so today is the day I’m attempting to give care to such vehicle. Here is the scene and scenario that took place on this blessed of mornings.
The parking lot at my apartment complex is a high traffic volume area during the weekend, with families dropping off and picking up their children to and from a tenant on the east side residence of my building.
A bit of background for all, this elderly woman who resides there on that end (and a wonderfully, sweet lady she is) is a caregiver to and for many families. I believe she’s running a “weekend daycare” in there but if the children are safe and taken care of? Ok by me.
There is one couple that drops off their young daughter every Sunday morning but today is Saturday, which just happens to be on the day that I’m outside early.
The view of multiple cars and trucks coming and going is truly a sight to see. It seems like all are trying to make an appearance at the same time and I try to stay clear; not wanting to be someone’s much-overwhelmed vehicular roadkill.
Possibly to paint a simply better picture and putting things in to a better perspective for the imaginary viewing, my appearance is questionable, at best. At worst, I look like a slob (Just relaxingly a bit casual, is what I call it) while owning a good deal of long brown hair and sporting a shoddy beard from a couple weeks laziness.
Comfortability is all that’s craved by me this day. My attire this day? Same as every Saturday, really. It’s my infatuation with the wearing of long Khaki pants and sandals. Throw in a hand-crafted wood cross around my neck (on a finely linked silver necklace, I might add) and you have… well, me.
Just here I am working away on all the things that I need to do for the “Preventive Maintenance Practice” to work, I most suddenly here a child’s voice spring out from the closest of ranges. “Auntie… there’s Jesus!” This, I promisingly will say, would get a person’s attention and so my head and neck become one… swiveling back and forth – looking to the sky far faster than I could ever have imagined.
Rapture time? Is this the telling of times? No… it’s just little Nakita. Running up to me in childlike fashion (she is but 4…maybe a bit of 5) and hugging the strength out of my legs.
Now, I don’t know my neighbor well; we exchange common courtesy from days we see each other, which isn’t often, and I see little Nikita even less. I’m thoroughly confused but knowingly need this young one to step aside because I want to be presentable for the coming of Jesus.
I think I’ve lived a mostly good life; he isn’t really going to hold my cursing, smoking, drinking, and impure thoughts about candy, is he? I just believe there’s so much one can do with chocolate. I know, I know… it’s unhealthy but I thought that was just for animals.
Then Auntie speaks. She says she is terribly sorry for Nakita’s actions and I realize that Jesus is not here at all to me or for me. But to this little girl, Jesus is here… for Jesus is me. This little bundle of joy is all smiles and grabs my hand, pulling me down to the curb along the side of my car and wants to sit talk.
By now, other families are gathering to pick up their children and a crowd begins to gather. Auntie begins to tell the entire group what is transpiring here, and this is turning into more than a life experience; with me not being adjusted quite enough in my world to be known as THE SAVIOR and little Nakita just staring away into my eyes. Alright, need to figure out what type of liquor this child has consumed this fine day morning.
I mean, Saturday for me is whiskey; Sunday… usually vodka. She’s real young though, for the hard stuff… maybe she found a wine cooler when Auntie had her back turned, grabbed it (thinking it was fruit punch) and downed it. Could happen… her background might be that of an adventurous, risk-taking type.
“Jesus” she says, “Can I have a favor?”
GOOD GRAVY!!! I gasp! What were we talking about earlier? PRESSURE!?!?
“I want a little brother “, she says. “Somebody who can play dress up with me, ok?”
Well, is that all. Here I thought she would ask for something difficult. I think I will black out now.
Good thing I’m sitting down.
Well, a superbly fine request, I guess, but I tell her that she needs to speak with her mom and dad on this subject, for its way too early in the morning for Jesus to be granting miracles, without a wine cooler or two himself. (Alright, alright… I didn’t say it – I spoke it with my inner voice)
Nakita tightly held my cross dangling down from the nape of my neck and stated that she would ask her mom if she has money to buy her a brother. “Maybe so…” I say. “Amazon has multiple, awesome deals online but maybe they aren’t stocking little brothers in the spring catalogue anymore… you might have to shop around for other website discounted options.” (I know, I know… Didn’t say it aloud but should of – a good laugh is hard for me to run from, you know, and she really should know that the internet is harsh reality)
With a quick kiss of my cheek and a “Bless you, Jesus!” of biblical proportions, Nakita was off and running – leaving myself and many others behind, off kilter. Oh, to be a child again with that much energy.
Makes a man really give thought, you know? Like, what does a wee child see and how does one appear to be, through the innocence of an eye? That is a money question.
Maybe it’s dreams and believing, or simply seeing the view of the world as simple – without apprehension, anxiety, or more so, without pressure. Unfortunately, we adults don’t have this luxury.
Yes, there will be moments and times in our lives that are filled with pressure; pressure in our world, about our world, all around our world but hopefully sometimes, the pathway through life will not be as difficult as we all see it to be; or for that matter, appear to be.
But how am I right with this, you may ask. Of course, I’m asking the same question. This pressure by a loving, trusting child, with but a question. How to make her dreams and beliefs come breathily to life? Just a simple favor request, wanting for but a simple “Yes!” or “Let It Be Done” returned answer. The weight of little Nakita asking, is the weight now upon my shoulders. How will I respond?
It is not a simple task to be undertaken lightly, I surely agree. Yet, I have been gifted by this one little girl by only a volition of her own wants. This is a perplexing challenge and will take some real soul searching to come up with the right answer. I wonder, WWJD?
I waited briefly for a sign to show me the way; to the making of my fateful decision. Well, I guess 5 minutes went by without a single signal and then, of course, it hit me. My sign was a sign without a given sign!
(Makes sense to me)
OK, I’ll do it and will take full and rightful acceptance of this role; a role that I will ever embrace for little Nakita. “All let it be known… for I am forever now known, as “Mistaken Jesus”.
And now it is time for Vodka.