(yes, I know the blog image is of Moses. Actually it’s Charlton Heston playing Moses. It just fit the imagery in my head, besides, do YOU have an actual real-life picture of God?)
I like to fix things. It’s true. It’s almost like I seek out areas that need repair and try to get in there and solve the problems. I’m not doing it for attention or recognition. I just like to fix things. I was once told that it was called a God-Complex. I have to admit, it’s true. And it comes back to bite me more than it’s helpful. That said, it’s how God Himself wired me, so I have to figure out the balance. Right now, as I write this, I am not able to fix what’s happening and it kills me.
So…. this wasn’t a planned post. No, it jumped in line ahead of about 19 other drafts that are eagerly awaiting a publish date. But, I had to get this off my chest. Maybe it will help another one of my fellow Fix It Felix type friends or readers. There are just some things you can’t fix. Right now, I’m in the midst of one of them. Before you get all worried that there’s some terrible calamity that has befallen me and things are tumbling down around me, let me explain.
My wife just had surgery to remove cancer from her eyelid. And subsequent surgery to repair her half-missing eyelid. And recovery is not going so well. The first day was a bit entertaining. She was drugged, loopy, pukey, and kind of hilarous. The second day was a bit more taxing, ointment at this time, another ointment at this time, cleaning at this time, every hour on the hour an ice pack, drugs, feedings, guiding her to the bathroom… yes, she depended on me. If you’re thinking that must have had my God-Complex spinning happily, you’re wrong. Quite the opposite. And today, it got worse. We were told to expect swelling and pain. The doctor even apologized to me to apologize to my wife about the pain she was going to experience because of the reconstructive surgery method he had to use.
Today, it arrived. She woke up in excruciating pain. She cried. A lot. We took it slow. Very slow. We were able to get antibiotic and pain relief cream on her face. We were able to get an icepack for 20 minutes, food, and drugs in her system. And she finally went to sleep. But, I’m miserable. I can’t fix it for her. As I was tending to her various care needs, I was crying. It took me a minute to realize it, but I was and I figured out why very quickly. My wife is laying in bed in such agony and I can’t do anything to fix it. And I hate it. Don’t give me the platitudes of “you were helping my being there, by giving her care…” No, that’s not enough. I want to be able to pray her out of her pain or give her some incredible medicine that will take her pain away so she won’t have to experience it. But, I can’t. And I’m left feeling confused, hurt, and useless. Not very Felix of me.
By the way, this cartoon guy is Fix it Felix. He’s a character from Wreck it Ralph. A really cute movie and if you don’t have any idea who he is, some of my references are probably like… huh? Sorry. Watch the movie, it’s cute.
Anyway, back to my struggle. I can’t fix my wife’s problem. I REALLY want to. I want her to not be suffering and hurting and in pain. I can tend to the symptoms as best as possible, but I can’t fix it. Only time, her doctor, her body healing, and a myriad of other things that are out of my control can fix her problem. I can’t experience it for her. I can’t take it away from her. It’s hers and she has to make it to the other side. Yeah, you can see where I’m headed.
For someone with a God-Complex like me, a fixer, a problem solver, that sucks. It brings me great joy to help carry burdens. My favorite scripture is Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ. That’s probably a sloppy NIV translation. I am not looking it up, just memory. But, I love that verse. Go figure. It has its limits though. And I do not love that. This is a life lesson for me. At my wife’s expense. I can’t fix everything. No matter how much I want to, even for good reasons, I can’t. And it doesn’t stop me from trying. Nor should it. I do have a responsibility to be who God made me to be, a fixer. But, I have to accept that some of those things that need to be fixed are not my things to fix. The trick is to navigate through the process to figure out which is which.
That’s the rub for me though. I struggle with that. Again, good intentions. But the road to failure is paved with good intentions. I know it’s actually a different saying, but I fixed it to fit here. See what I did there? HA! But, seriously though. Sometimes it’s obvious when I am not the one to fix something. In the case of my wife, it’s impossible. Sometimes it’s not so easy to see if I am supposed to help or not. Those are the danger zones. I cannot tell you how many times I have jumped into a situation, conversation, dilemma, or tragedy in a well meaning effort to help and have just caused more pain and suffering. Obviously, not something I would ever intentionally want to do. But it happens.
I love this meme for two reasons. MacGyver could get out of anything, fix any situation with a rubber band, paper clip, and gum wrapper. And it was great. Good 80s TV right there. Also, duct tape. In my line of work, that’s a bad word, but we would easily replace it with Gaff Tape.
Reality check. MacGyver couldn’t really save the day with random objects found in his precarious situation. It was fiction. TV. Not reality. Also, duct tape (or gaff tape) won’t really fix everything. Although some people have tried. Neither of these funny ha ha things are true, but it shows that the idea of a God-Complex isn’t limited to the few. Chances are, more of us struggle with it than we’d like to admit. And it’s easy to point the finger at someone with a very pronounced God-Complex and say they are pushy, nosy, know-it-all types. I’m not denying it’s true, but just about any America man has tried to fix something with duct tape. And I know that 100% of American Media Directors have tried to use gaff tape to fix something. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Unfortunately, all too often, our fixes end up looking like this poor Prius. A sad mangled representation of what it should look like, but we didn’t let the correct Felix have his shot at the repair. We tried to MacGyver it ourselves. This is funny, yes. But put it into reality for a minute and think about real life situations you have encountered. Now imagine if you were trying to Felix it when it wasn’t your role and now imagine that image as your end result. Whoops.
I’m not encouraging you to not try to solve things. I wouldn’t do that. I’m a Felix. No, what I’m trying to do is tell you and remind me that we can’t fix everything. Some things aren’t our responsibility. Some things are. We have to be mature enough and patient enough to learn the difference. And we have to figure out how to except the fact that we sometimes have to sit bedside while the situation works out and be miserable that we can’t fix it.