I’m enamored with the television show Fringe. There’s a mad scientist, his multi-talented semi-felonious son, an emotionally haunted FBI agent, and a caretaking, codebreaking lab assistant. And neuroscience. And alternate universes.

Ya know…the usual. ;-)

So the main characters are very chewy, but my favorites are the occasional characters dubbed Observers.

Bald and browless, with monochrome suits and monotone voices, skinny ties, dapper hats, and a penchant for super-spicy foods, they manage to be both obvious and invisible. They’re also immortal, though not invincible. And they’re watching.

With opera glasses, journal and pen at hand, they arrive a few minutes before something happens. Something important. And they literally and figuratively take note.

There’s an impression that they’re not from around here. That they’re making sure everything’s on track for a worldwide event somewhen down the line. That only they know how things are supposed to play out. And they’ve proven they’ll go to extreme measures to course-correct if things shift out of alignment.

I don’t envy their weighty responsibility, but ohhh, how I’d savor their foresight.

As the guardians of our pivotal events, they know exactly where and when to find impactful happenings. They already know what and who is Important.

While we, mortal and human, achingly myopic and tragically linear, only realize after the fact.


I feel bad for Akin.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad his voiced opinions outed him for the hazard that he was. And from what I heard he said—which could be different than what he actually did say—I also think he’s an ass.

I was livid pissed, at first. Then a familiar sorrow bubbled up. Whatever I think of him, what he said, what he’s done, and what he would have done given the chance that he won’t have now (hallelujah)…

…even for all that, imagine.

Imagine how awful it would be to open your mouth and blurt something that, among cronies, would be agreed with, ignored, or forgiven. And almost surely forgotten.

But instead, some-fool-how, you forget where you are and who you’re with. You forget you’re being observed. Or maybe you don’t care. Either way, your off-the-cuff comment instantly becomes something horribly, irretrievably Important.

Your lifetime of education, effort, and service now pivots on that moment. Your thousand acts of kindness, forgotten. Your reputation, deflated. Your plans, dissolved. Your friends, largely absent. Your family murmuring sympathy while averting their eyes.

Nothing that came before matters at all. What comes after will matter even less.

It was all for nothing.


And yet.

It’s not like we can lock ourselves away, seeing no one, doing nothing, saying nothing, thinking nothing, in an effort to affect nothing. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work.

Absence has its own effect. So do idleness, silence, and determined ignorance.

Among other things, your soul tightens, reddens, and explodes. True story.

And when the smoke clears, you’re left with the words you can’t help but say. The things you simply must do. Thoughts that won’t simmah down now, and a raving urgency to step to the front and be seen.

You can’t hide from your own importance. It will simply find you, drag you out, dust you off, and hold you high. Another true story.

So. Surrender.

Graciously and gratefully accept the role that’s meant for you. You’ll know it when you find it…or when it finds you. :-)

Things may not start as you expected, go the way you planned, or end as well as you’d hoped. I’m noticing that’s pretty much par, so enjoy it anyway. Expect surprises and do the work.

There’s no struggle if you don’t fight it.