Monday, November 06, 2006
I'm Still Here, but Who Am I?
The problem is that God isn't going to blow over. I've heard talk, and read, of the "Great Adventure" that God wants my life to be. Well, I don't really want adventure. At least, part of me doesn't want it.
The adventure got closed down years ago. What's interesting is that I didn't kill off the part of me that still believed life could be wonderful. I read stories of people who did manage that, or came close, and their hells are even worse than mine. Theirs come with drugs and sharp sticks. Mine is just sort of grey. Neutral. Survival. Somehow I maintained a thread of belief that life really could be wonderful. The natural world spoke to me in voices quite clear and beautiful, and in that polyphonic praise I heard my own hopeful future.
It didn't happen. Still, I never gave up the belief entirely but it got buried ever more deeply under what used to seem life's minutiae but grew through the years into bigger issues. I could see a time coming when there would be no more hope, and I'd pulled the last, magic, distractionary rabbit out of my shrinking bag of tricks.
God stepped in. As suits the occasion, He did so with drama and humor. The mix was irresistible and I was taken away. A few months later I realized that, all joking aside, I really had been sandbagged. He was going to overhaul me from the inside out, exactly so.
At first I just sort of went along with the idea. God isn't real unless you believe in him, right? Wrong-O, Buzzard-Breath! God is as real as the fingers on your hands or the sun blazing down at noon. I didn't want to believe in him but he continued to believe in me. Life support.
Who am I, underneath years of habit, resistance, reaction and assumption? I'm one who'd like to figure out the answers beforehand, make the mistakes in private and then head out into the world, all sails drawing perfectly, serene in my confidence to meet what comes. As my psychoanalyst said years ago, "I think you want to be an airplane that takes off and never has to land." She was right, and prescient. I didn't want to understand her comment. I don't want my hands muddied with the ugly affairs of the untidy human world. I prefer nature, where everything is honest. Predator, prey, life coming with the rain, each year a variation within the familiar cycle, every piece simply what it is and no more. No intentional lies, no subterfuge.
I grew up in a human world where words were simply used as tools to produce the desired effect in others. The only words I could trust were the ones I came up with myself, and they were few because no one else wanted to listen. What really got my attention with God is that his words mean exactly what they say. He has no interest in remaking me as a propagandist, nor any need. Add up all the things God has done in my life and the only motivation I can find is love. He purely desires my company, my whole company, alive and myself.
There's no way I can predict what kind of person I will become. If I could do that I would turn the whole process into a set of rules, put it on a shiny platter and present it to the world as a fait accompli. Three years ago I looked into the future and saw a singularity, a point beyond which I knew nothing. Now I look into the future and see blank white fog. God invites me to trust. He doesn't demand, but waits for me to understand and then take a step. The Holy Spirit guides my feet to secure holds. I have a feeling we're creating the ground I walk on as we go.
Note: "Gorgles" refers to a song by Ken Medema, about a relationship between a boy and a creature he finds who has a face like a person, but a shell like a turtle.
I am one of those people who thought life was suppose to be wonderful and ended up very disappointed.
Trusting God as you walk in the fog as he creates the ground before you take each step...that sounds like a pretty amazing way to journey.