Adventures in My Inner Life
Originally written 10/13/2009, though it applies very much to my mindset today.
This morning, as I was praying with our chatty God, I had the most interesting conversation. I was lamenting once again not having a job and still feeling like I am wandering in the wilderness with no hope for things to change. I was feeling primed for a pity party (say that three times fast), when God decided he would interject.
Me: “God, I just don’t want the disappointment again. I don’t want to feel like I’m waiting only to be let down.”
Chatty God (CG, for short): “When have I let you down?”
Me: “I don’t know how to put this delicately, but what about this whole season of wandering in the desert? I know you’re not through with me yet, but you have to admit it’s disappointing from my perspective.” [I just had to put this out there, just in case it had slipped past him]
CG: “From your perspective, bah! What would be disappointing–no, a real tragedy from my perspective–would be for you to crash again because you hadn’t built up your inner life.”
Me: “Touche.” [Of course, I’m much more stubborn than that and wouldn’t let it go.] “God, the rub for me is that I’ll never be done. I’ll never be 100% healthy. I’ll never be perfect, at least not in this life. Why are you taking so much time now? I see other leaders who are super unhealthy and they get to serve you; why not me?”
CG: “They will crash. Is that what you really want for your life…again?”
Me: “Obviously not, but maybe I won’t crash if I started back up again.”
CG: “Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, but do you really want to argue with someone who’s omniscient?”
Me: “Again, touche.” [I had to chuckle at God’s quippiness this morning]
CG: “You’ve got to stop comparing yourself to other people. You are not them and they certainly aren’t me. Your path is the one that I have called you to walk. You can fight and be angry all you want. You can even walk a different path. None of that will change the fact that this is where I want you to be. All of the anger and fear won’t change my mind, they will only change how you experience this path. Do you want peace, or do you want to be in control? You really have to make that choice every day. So what do you choose today?”
Me: “God, I am so humbled right now. I literally feel a deep sadness thinking about how much I’ve forfeited while trying to change this path. I’ve missed so much. God, knowing that doesn’t make this path any easier and it doesn’t make my pain any less real. I know you haven’t forgotten me. I know you are taking me on this path for my own benefit. The stronger a base you build, the greater you can use me in the future. The pain is still real and the future is still unclear. God, the bottom line is that I’m scared. I look around me and wonder when it will be my turn to serve you. When will I move hearts and break down walls? God, I’m so very scared. I feel so alone and helpless. I feel powerless, but I don’t have peace.”
CG: “Stop striving.”
I did have my pity party this morning. Though I wanted to feel sorry for myself and my situation, God made me feel sorry for all the things I’d missed while scanning the horizon, looking for a bright and beautiful future. I’ve taken for granted all the extra time I’ve had to sit down and sip coffee with CG in the morning. I’ve taken for granted the way that he’s provided financially. I’ve taken for granted that there are opportunities all around me to love others and serve God, though they rarely have a marquee and paycheck attached.
Mostly I felt sorry that I didn’t appreciate that God was (and is) willing to take all the time in the world to make me more like his Son. God loves me enough to spend oodles of time shaping my heart and feeding my soul. There is nothing more humbling than the realization that the God of the universe is also “God with me.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks that he’s not done yet. It’s not a punishment. This is a God who wants to woo me. He will go to whatever lengths to reach the depth of my soul and leave no portion untouched by his grace. If even for this moment [since I’m sure I’ll change my mind later], I ask him to come and make me swoon. I ask him to take the time he needs to reach me, that I might fully delight in him with all of my being.