Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rest stops are for temporary use only

“We’re holding onto the pain because it’s all we have left. But we don’t have to, we have a choice.”
-Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl on letting go

I know, you must be asking, how I can take a quote from a show like that and equate it to what God is teaching me. Well, conventional or not, pop culture occasionally spits out rare gems and in this case, it truly got me thinking about my current circumstance.

I wouldn’t put it past myself to do just that. To hold onto the past because that’s all I have left to hold on to. I don’t let go easily, I have such a hard time with it. I hold on to the past with such a tight grip. The control game again. It’s easier to hold onto what has been than embracing the unknown future.

I have unconsciously (although a few times quite consciously) run from God this last week. I knew that this weekend was supposed to be the much-needed break from my circumstance that I asked for. It was supposed to be spending time with God and learning to move past this. Instead, I spent the time feeling sorry for myself or embracing resentment. I also spent a great deal of time in self-loathing mode.

Why you ask? Maybe I’m still learning new things about myself. Maybe it’s because holding onto the pain is easier than letting go. Easier than admitting this past is no longer my present and certainly not my future.

I’m fully aware I am the reason I cannot move out of this place. I want to, but it’s so easy to just lay down and die (or in this case rest in the land of monotony). It’s easy to stop along this path, sit down and say I don’t have the strength, will power, or desire to go on. To declare this is the best it can or will be. How ironic that the thing I am most afraid of happening may very well happen because I choose to go no further.

We all have a choice to walk along with Christ or decide we can do it on our own. We all have a choice to fight or surrender. We are fooling ourselves if we believe God needs us to make what He wants happen. He doesn’t, His plans will go on, and His glory will be made. But to choose to be an active part of that is within our grasp. It’s not the easy way. It’s not the way the world tells you to go. It’s not the popular path that will bring you glory. In fact, it most likely will be painful and often lonely, possibly even humiliating and/or debilitating. But it will be SOMETHING. It will be more.

You see, as I am learning, no matter what you do, no matter how good you’re intentions are, no matter how desperately you try to make the right choices you will experience pain, loneliness, and a whole other plethora of uncomfortable and damaging feelings. They cannot and will not be escaped. It’s part of our fate as sinners. But when we pursue Christ and ask Him to take our lives and let us be a part of what He is doing, there is this beauty that He arises from the ashes of the despair we have made of our time here.

So you see, the fear, pain, & despair is a part of life. I am having a hard time learning that lesson. I think I wanted to believe that I could escape it some how. That maybe I could be some kind of exception to that rule. But there are NO exceptions. These things are the human condition. Thankfully we have a merciful creator that can make all those dirty wrong things clean and right. Our story doesn’t have to end with that despair. My story doesn’t have to end there.

Although my walk through the valley is so much smaller than many others, it feels like I have been here forever. I don’t want my story to end here because it was easier to stop to rest and never get back up. I want to continue on and allow God to do great things with my life. It’s easy to wish I had been left where I was before, but what could he do with that? Within the impenetrable wall I had built up to keep me safe?

That wall is gone. He is giving me a choice. Erect a new one and live in that shallow, dirty hut along this barren valley or hop on His back and keep going. Try to keep resting on my imperfect and failing strength or let Him be my strength. To put it into words seems so easy, but it’s not. Not even close.

It’s time to start living differently. To start thinking, acting, feeling, and loving differently. A lot of the problem is that I am afraid of change. I am content to stay where I am. But it’s imperfect here and the way of doing things isn’t working for me.

In a lot of ways, I think it’s time to start growing up. Emotionally any how. It is a continual struggle as we learn as we go. I just need to keep learning and more importantly, keep going.

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