Many of you have heard me speak about being on the Left. Left, according to the dictionary, means “to abandon or forsake, to remove oneself from participating in.” Everybody wants to be right, to get it right. It’s a natural desire, but not always the best thing for you. The fact is, you’re going to spend some time on the other side, on the left. It can be painful, it can be lonely, it can be devastating.
Tim Allen knows what it feels like, and I can relate. When he was eleven years old, his father was killed by a drunk driver. Everything changed for him. As he describes it, “One day, a part of your emotional connective tissue is there, the next it’s not and you have this black gaping hole. If you don’t rake it over and plant something else, it eventually fills up with a kind of mud.” That’s a good description of being on the left-and how bad it can be. “I didn’t have any idea what to do with the fact that the world is a very cruel place.”
Maybe it’s not an accident that Tim Allen also studied philosophy when he went to college and comparative religion after that. But he also began drinking and doing drugs, trying to medicate the pain that was in his soul. It got so bad that he wound up in jail and in AA. That was where he began to turn a corner. “There was a moment when I felt a direct connection with that which brought me here. Through feeling that connection-that there’s a purpose to this whole thing-I can say, ‘It’s going to be all right.’ ”
It’s funny, isn’t it? Two Tims who were hit with the same punch but went very different ways with it-and then came back to a similar place. Because it is going to be all right, with that connection to the Spirit that moves us all.
Tim Allen spent a long season on the left, but he also became a hugely successful and highly admired actor and comedian. Is there a connection there? I believe there is. Some of you are probably thinking that you’re glad you haven’t been thrown to the left. Whew, you’re thinking,
I’ve had some bad times, but nothing ever like that! I don’t need that kind of grief! But you’re looking at it with your eyes, from your point of view. I think if you look at it with a God’s-eye point of view, it might look a little different.
I like to say it like this, sometimes you have to get Left to Get Right. Sometimes in life, we experience pain and frustration on our way to living the life we were destined to live.
CHALLENGE: What can I learn from the Left? Is my Right helping others move through their Left?