When Life is a Pinball Machine

Finding the right path to take in life is never really easy.

I’m hitting a crossroads right now. I am considering many options and trying to find the right way to go.

I can’t say that I have the answer even now. Sometimes life seems like one of those pinball machines I used to play with as a kid. The ball is heading a certain direction until either being hit with one of the paddles or colliding with one of the many obstacles in the machine causing it to completely change its course. Maybe that’s not the best analogy, but I feel like sometimes we think we’re heading in the right direction until we’re hit with an obstacle or a “paddle” that forces us in another direction entirely. I don’t think it’s all left up to fate either.

There’s a reason for each obstacle, paddling, and brick wall we meet with. I try to keep this optimistic view, but I’m not unrealistically optimistic. I believe that even when events in life don’t go as planned, it’s for a reason. How boring would a planned life be with no surprises?

I know sometimes the things we don’t expect to happen are unpleasant, but sometimes they can also be some of the most wonderful experiences. Someday I’ll look back and perhaps see that there were reasons why some things didn’t work out.

On top of these life decisions I need to make, I’ve been lately trapped underneath papers, grading, and stress, and it’s about to get worse, a lot worse. People ask me fairly often when the end of the semester is, I tell them, and their response is along the lines of “Oh, you’re almost through! Just a few more weeks!” I usually give a half a smile in the midst of my caffeine high euphoria and think “That’s precisely the problem”. Just about three weeks to figure out how in the world I’m going to spit out all these papers and projects.

In the midst of this there are all the due dates for the applications I’m filling out and a list of things to do before the semester ends. Sometimes it feels like more than I can handle, like I’m getting hit by too many obstacles at once. When I begin to feel this way, it usually means that I need to take a step back and breathe.

Somehow I’ll make it through this. Besides, there’s always an adventure or something to laugh about along the way. Yes, I may feel like I’m trapped in a pinball machine, but this is only temporary. Those hits with the paddle and brick walls do typically smart, but it’s for a good reason. I can trust that God has promised to light my path and show me the way to go if I diligently seek him.

*deep breath*

Here we go!


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