Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ponderings of a Ragamuffin

I can't tell you how many incomplete posts I have sitting under my "Edit Posts" tab. I'll start them, get distracted, plan on coming back and finishing them, and then I never come back and finish them. I have found myself in a very frustrating season of incompleteness. The half-full aspect of my life has become very apparent to me, and I am at a loss as to how to fill it up again.

Of course I know the Sunday school answers. And there is some validity to those. But isn't there something practical I can do as well? Or is pursuing and trusting God the only thing that will make the gaps in my world start to shrink?

I am speaking generally on purpose, because I am too chicken to talk about what is bothering me specifically. But basically, I just feel empty, or half-filled, or unfinished, or all of the above. There is a little part of me that even feels short-changed, though admitting that is scary, because the truth is that I am blessed and I know it, or ought to, and don't want what I have to disappear on account of my ungratefulness. But maybe God doesn't work that way, and that's just my legalistic background talking.

I have found that there is a type of unfilled that keeps us running to God for filling, and that is the good kind. And then there is the kind that I have recently identified in myself, that is just a source of pain and frustration, and drives me to cope instead of live. And I hate that with a deep and mighty passion.

I've surprised myself with the way I have handled people and situations in my life lately. I am not entirely comfortable with how my stress and sadness has been effecting those around me, or how my response to said stress is reflecting Christ. I do not feel like I am a very good witness right now. And I'm not doing anything particularly bad, but neither am I doing any particular good, and that in and of itself is probably bad.

I am truly overwhelmed, and deep-down sad, and incapable, perhaps, of being a help instead of a hindrance to the people I care about. I want very much to be successful, and make good decisions, and bring light and joy into people's lives. Instead I have been angry, disgruntled, and even leaning towards bitter, depending on the day and the person I am dealing with. I know I probably just need more time with God and a clean apartment and more sleep, and that would most likely cure the majority of my problems. But none of that is as easy as I would like it to be. And why do I expect life to be easy anyway??

I'd like to do a study (and by that I mean I'd like someone else to do a study) on how many times the Bible says "take heart" or "be encouraged" or "do not fear" because I'm pretty sure it says it a lot. And the truth is that that's because Jesus didn't come to make perfect people more perfect, but came for people like me, ridiculous and sinful and wallowing in self-pity, desperate for salvation, desiring to be filled, and needing to be made new again.

We are ragamuffins, all of us. There is just too much of me and not enough of Him hiding underneath this skin of mine. I have grown weary of myself, and I am the one person I can never get away from. It is abundantly clear to me that I need something other than myself, my stuff, and even my friends in order to find serenity, joy, and strength for each new day.

How is it that something can be so crystal clear and so difficult to change at the same time? It is as if I can see straight to the bottom of an infinitely clear pool, but I stand stupidly on the shore with the knowledge that I cannot swim, and therefore cannot attain the prize at the bottom.

I don't know that I have any answers tonight. I may have just needed to confess my abundant weakness as a cry for help or comfort in a dry and weary season. Perhaps I am currently wandering in the desert, and the promised land does exist, but I haven't quite made it there yet. My downfall is often that I assume if it's not here it's not anywhere, and that is a false assumption.

If it is true that I am in a desert season, then I can say for sure that I hate the desert. Is it arrogant of me to say that I hope God knows what He's doing? Because I really hope God knows what He's doing with me right now. I am not sure that I would lead me down this road this soon. I am not certain that I'm going to make it through to the other side. But maybe that's the point.

I only hope that the blessing I long for is close, and worth the pain of waiting in the end.

Come quickly, Lord.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Oh, Jo! You're close to a great truth. The beautiful part of knowing our stupid, heavy incompetence is that God says, "You're ok. I made you this way. Now just rest. Rest in the assurance that I am in control, and you are in My hand."

I love you, sweetheart!