“It is what it is”
I have had more conversations with this simple sentence lodged in it this week than ever before. It doesn’t mean anything. In fact I hate it. It all started with my San Diegean friend telling me a story about his break up. He ended by saying, “it is what it is”. Or in other words, I don’t really know, I can’t express, and I don’t really want to tell you how I really feel. It has hardly slipped out of my mouth, but in the last week I have heard it a dozen times. It is now something I listen for.
We don’t like telling stories, feelings, or talking to someone we don’t much like. It is like entertaining vegetables you’re not a fan of. You may eat one or two, but then brush them aside. I would have fed them to my dog, but my dog was more picky than I was. I liked to move the veggies around on my plate making it seem like I ate them. Only Moms truly know if you ate your vegetables.
You can usually tell when someone is board with you or your stories. It’s a mom sensing vegetable meter. It is universal. And they say, “it is what it is”. Or you say “it is what it is”, when you do not think someone is listening or cares.
We seek validation even when we may not know it.
If we do not feel valued, we will move on, won’t we? I do.
I will bet money that Jesus never received an “It is what it is”. It never left his mouth either. When people met Jesus they changed. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They were not able to be the same after meeting Jesus. I like to imagine that when you tell Jesus stories, express feelings, and engage Him, He listens. I imagine He listens as if He has all the time in the world. His patients calms you, and makes you feel how you are the only person in the whole world. When you vent towards Jesus, He looks at you with all eternity waiting on every word. You would feel valued, respected, and honored. It would be like talking to a very best friend, and the only friend you would ever want to talk with. It would be as if every detail in your story was the most exciting, invigorating, and wonderful moment in all time. He would laugh genuinely to your not so funny joke. I believe when people met Jesus, it was like that. I believe when you meet Jesus today, it is like that. He is waiting to hear your stories, worries, and cares. As you’re expressing the events of your life, He listens. He listens with all time! He is hanging on your every word, and He never interrupts. He will never finish listening and ask if you, “had to be there?”! There is no greater person who wants to know everything about your detailed life than Him.
I don’t feel that way all the time. It is silent when I pray, and silence is defining. When you talk to someone who is listening, it is silent. They nod their head, smile, get close, and remember. Do I picture Jesus leaning in, hanging on every word, and nodding in remembrance?
Im not sure if my friend thought I wasn’t listening, or he was just done telling the story, but “it is what it is”, is not who I want to be. I want that phrase to never enter my space. I want people to feel as if I have all eternity when I listen. I want to lean in close, nod my head, and remember.
But hey, It is what it is….