The phrase derives from an Arab proverb, a cataclysmic event cause by something inconsequential. This saying has also lead to the phrase, "the last straw." Aside from the animal cruelty aspect, which is slightly disturbing, it is great wisdom. So many times we traverse difficult roads, I know I have, deaths, divorce, fire, debt, unemployment, sickness and struggle. While we struggle our friends surround us with love, support and we seem to make it through. There are times however, when something so small, so insignificant that it shouldn't really affect us, happens, that we take a nosedive into oblivion. The straw, that one final straw. I know it holds true for me, I will sail through hard times, with my family at my side, and then the dry cleaners are closed when I really need that shirt for a job interview...or that last check I wrote toppled my checking account into oblivion...that I fall.
Why can't the camel just say, "back off?" Because we are not in control, and that is the hard part. I adore control, I love it when things go my way, when I am right, when I get the job I want, the man I want, and the jeans I want fit. I love it when my life, a theatrical event, goes off smoothly, when it calls for a standing ovation. But this is not the way of life, it is messy, complicated and doesn't always go our way. We muddle through the best that we can and hope that when the final straw falls, we have family and friends there to pick us up, give us a box of Puffs Plus, and send us on our way.
My dog is at the vet right now, under anesthesia. She was clawed by another dog at the dog park. I do not have the money for it, and the other dog's owner can only contribute a portion. Last night I felt that helplessness as I laid awake at 1 am (I never have sleep issues) worried about buying groceries and paying bills, while looking for a job and keep my house in order. The vet bill was the straw, that moment when I lost control over my tightly budgeted life. I couldn't write it off, and it wasn't going away. The only thing left was prayer, and I prayed and fell asleep. It seems so simple this morning, prayer. Please help me juggle life, please help me with this personal straw. I know that I won't be underemployed forever. I know that my degree and all of the hard work I spent attaining that degree will be useful some day. It is just not today, not according to my time frame. Today I need to focus on the simplicity of prayer, not the please help me get what I want prayer, but the help me to go through this with dignity and grace.
Help me to travel this path with grace and dignity
Help me to allow you to guide me while I walk.
Help me to slow down and witness the beauty of the moment.
Help me to work with you and not against you.
Help me to love and to allow and to relax into this day.