“Jesus, Jesus, I’m still looking for answers
though I know that I won’t find them here tonight.
But Jesus, Jesus, can you call me if you have the time?
And maybe we can meet for coffee and work it out.
Maybe then I’ll understand what it’s all about.”
– Jesus, Jesus by Noah Gunderson
Liz’s life is full of spiritual moments. From time to time she posts blogs describing them. This is one of those blogs.
I was sitting at my desk waiting for a phone call when I glanced at the calendar sitting in the corner. Made for no particular year, it’s just 365 pages, each one with the month, day and a small bible verse. I like it because it gives me something to think about when I wake up; something a little deeper than waffles and which shirt to wear. Some days I’ll read them and they’re just words on a page, wise but not noteworthy (at least, not at that moment). However, there are days like today where they speak to me at just the right moment, and I remember my path has a purpose.
I’m not the preachy type. I love talking about God and religion and life and souls – but I like it only when it’s in the form of conversation, open to honesty, questions and admitting sometimes those questions are bigger than we are. However, I feel the need to confess something. I’ve spent a lot of time asking questions and very little time seeking answers. It feels good to ask the tough and painful questions. I think it’s kind of therapeutic to voice some of the ‘why’s that bounce around in our heads. But what’s the point of asking anything if you never really seek an answer? Why bother? Every qualm, every cry becomes lip service, which sounds impressive but never really accomplishes anything. God, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at this whole ‘life’ thing. Truth is that most days I’m scared to death of the things I don’t understand. (Funny little note. As I typed those words the verse crossed my mind, “Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways remember him and he will make your paths straight”). I let my weaknesses define me as I struggle to be present in times when being present is most imperative.
I do this even though I know I shouldn’t.
You see, the truth is that even in my days of deepest doubt, I’ve never been able to shake you. Even when unconditional love was as unfathomable as the universe, I still hoped that you were there to leave me little notes of encouragement saying you hadn’t left me. And you didn’t disappoint. In fact, you did more than leave notes. You gave me a voice and identity when mine was stolen from me, and intervened on my behalf when I wasn’t strong enough. I’ve seen your wonders, God. Thanks to you I can never question whether miracles exist because my life became one.
But right now I’m not feeling much like a miracle. In fact, I feel more like a letdown. Father, lately Anxiety has been my constant enemy, and I’ve been neglecting the people I care about most. I haven’t been the type of believer to stand in the gap like I used to. Instead it seems I’m too caught up in my own things and I’m too afraid I’ll do it wrong. Something tells me it was never meant to be this complicated. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that there’s darkness in this world like never before. Chaos. Hatred. Hunger. Homelessness. For a lot of people, it brings on a sense of hopelessness.
I can sit here and ask for a lot of things. I’d ask for clarity, for courage… maybe a nice little nudge into a cushiony job. But the truth is that you’ve already given me what I need. Now I have to put some effort into it. Too many times people sit back and wait for things to come to them. We pray for answers, but then we’re not willing to look for them. It’s like somewhere down the line I bought into the joke that things should just be handed to us. That we didn’t have to work for them.
I know I’m starting to ramble. Already I’ve wandered into tangents I didn’t mean to. There’s a point in there somewhere. I think it runs along the lines of this: That there will be times when things are easy and life is filled with clarity. But then sometimes it’s going to be rocky and we’ll find ourselves with more questions than we have answers for. Like Moses, there will be times when we’ll have to suck it up and face our fears in the face as we attempt to do what we think is impossible. But as I look back on my life I realize impossible is just a word. One that shouldn’t exist in my vocabulary considering what you’ve done in my life.
This is usually the point in our conversation where I start asking you for stuff. Like the strength to not look like an idiot when I go into work tomorrow. Maybe do some mystic miracle that will make me a better listener. I’d definitely ask for the courage to face my Anxiety and say, “Hey, my God is bigger than you – and so am I.” But like I said before… you already gave me all that.
It’s up to me to use them.