Monday, July 10, 2006


Dealing with Despair

I woke up. Looked bright outside. I looked at the clock. 0445, bleary morning no-glasses finger pinhole astigmatism time. Yikes. I have to be out of here in half an hour. Got out of bed, brushed hair, got some serial, sat down to eat. Opened the Powerbook to check a forum. Eventually saw the time up in the corner: 0355. Chalk one up to the astigmatism. Took the bowl to the kitchen, looked out the window. Cloudy. Hasn't been a cloudy morning in a couple of weeks. Clouds reflect city light, and in my muzzy state I didn't think about the color of the light. High pressure sodium reflected from clouds really looks nothing like dawn light, but, well, I'm no mental fireball in the morning. Too late to go back to bed, so I might as well write.

Just how involved in a person's life is God supposed to be? I kind of have a foot in two worlds here, one being the commonly held belief that "God helps those who help themselves." In other words, only bother him with the big stuff. The other idea is, "Cast all your cares upon Him."

All of my life I've just been trying to stay a few steps ahead of despair. I didn't know what the point was of going on, but the alternative seemed worse, so I just kept running. Everything I've done has been a stopgap distraction. I don't know what life is for and have no good reason for continuing. As long as the distractions were good enough it didn't matter.

That kind of untruth seems to bother God. He didn't do anything forceful. Just a creative use of cumulative fatigue that slowed my steps, and then slipped his hand underneath. "My, isn't that a big hole under me."

This has been going on for a time. I've been looking for an answer. What makes some people bounce out of bed in the morning, looking forward to new challenges? I just want to get through the day in one piece, and don't look farther than that. I don't know about that, but having that black cloud hanging around is no fun, even if God keeps it from enveloping me. Still, I believed there must be an answer. Some people look forward to living. Why can't I?

Maybe I've been looking for the wrong kind of answer. Does God really want to be so involved in my life that He Himself outshines the despair? I'm not sure how this works, but I do know that any time I discuss problems with God they don't seem so big. Rather than just keep running and hoping for an answer to come out of my own mind--something that hasn't happened in all my years--maybe asking God for help with this is not a big deal. Look at Jesus. He knew despair. His own father forsook him and he was alone in the dark night.

I'm not sure how this works in the real world. We'll find out day by day. Right now, though, I do have to get to work. I'd rather not.

I know despair. But He is bigger than despair. Which we sometimes don't get when we're deep in despair.
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