Disoriented /disˈôrēˌent/ adj.- Having lost one’s sense of time, place, or identity.
When we struggle with where we are, when we are, and consequently who we are, the world ceases to make sense. It leaves us discombobulated to coin one of my favorite terms.
A few more terms:
Have you felt any of these? Do you feel them right now? Why? That is the question we seek to answer.
2020 was a disorienting year. 2021 has not proven to be much better…yet.
Do you feel out of place or not sure where you are? Hard not to feel a little out of sorts after 2020. However, we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves. Disorientation is part of the human condition and history. This is merely our time at bat.
Disorientation is a huge trope in fictional literature and movies. Most readers have heard of the Jason Bourne books and movies. Perfect example. The protagonist winds up in the middle of the Indian Ocean only to be retrieved by a fishing boat. He has zero idea where he is, when he is, and most frightening who he is.
The confusion can be temporary, like losing electricity. It can also last longer as you become disillusioned with your faith, church, job, people, or life in general.
Do you have or have you ever had personal struggles with your time, place, or identity? I sure have Being a parent is like that.
I felt a little disoriented the day we brought Alec, our first-born, home from the hospital. A parent will always have the details of that day down. Right? This may shock people, but I was a wee bit nervous about the whole parenting enterprise. The entire process scared me. Holding the baby. Fixing the car seat. Putting him in the car seat. Paying for him!! Money$$ money$$! Everything.
Here is how that special day went down. Two nurses bring my wife Lea down in a wheelchair holding Alec. I will never forget that interaction. The nurses hand me Alec, help Lea up, and mutter “good luck” in my general direction and “poof” they disappear through the automatic sliding door. I struggle loading Alec into the seat and get in the car to drive away. Lea is bawling. Like a whimpering cry. I am thinking “hormones??” but decide to be sensitive.
The conversation actually went something like this:
Me: “Is everything okay?”
Lea: (through whimpering tears) “we only have him for 18 years.”
The words hit me between the eyes. I was freaking out because my world was changing. However, it was time to put my selfish ways to the side and embrace the blessing of being a dad and stop fretting over the burden.
Those 18 years are over. Alec headed off to college last year. Sure, thousands of 18-year-olds head to the dorms annually. Yet this rite of passage challenged not only his identity and sense of self but also our entire family identity. Who am I as a father? My wife had a new role. Even his brother, the future world ruler, struggled with big brother’s pending absence. Weird time. Disorienting. Mom was not the only one shedding tears.
If such a product existed, I would relive days when my boys were little-racing Alec down the hallway, batting practice…watching movies…when he accepted Jesus…the exact moment he said something hilarious. This product might come with a special moments package, but really just reliving one day would be awesome!
Yet we knew this was time to let go and the first step toward greater blessings for Alec. Sometimes worldly confusion yields eternal blessings. Join the Wonkyfied podcast as we discuss how being disoriented only leads to more incredible blessings from God.
Dr. Rob is an emerging thought leader in politics and policy, urban studies, and the Christian walk. He currently serves as Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Dallas Baptist University. You can follow his podcast on CPN network at https://www.charismapodcastnetwork.com/show/wonkyfied or learn more at www.drrobsullivan.com.