My day began at quarter past four when a car alarm when off in our neighborhood and sounded for a minute or two before who ever owned it awoke and turned it off. By that time, my mind had already entered the day and after a half hour of trying to regain what I had been jolted out of, I gave in to it and rolled out of bed to sit and read and watch the new day begin on our small patch of land in the outskirts of our little town.
What I found this morning is that I have begun again to believe in the power of a transformed mind and the ability to find healing in faith and friendship.
There is what I would call a “Divine Tension” taking place in my life and from what I gather, the lives of many others as well.
Dictionary dot com defines tension as:
A balanced relation between strongly opposing elements: “the continuing, and essential, tension between two of the three branches of government, judicial and legislative” (Haynes Johnson).
and: The interplay of conflicting elements in a piece of literature, especially a poem.
As Christians our struggle is between the old nature and the new: what we once were and what we are in process of becoming. Each new formation or snapshot of what we are becoming can take days, weeks or years depending on how we react to the forces in our lives that act as water on rock, a chisel on wood, the potter’s hands on the clay—to conform us into the image of Christ.
Doubt and disappointment can and do take their toll in making the surface of who we are less likely to be easily changed. A hard heart can take weeks or months to soften to the point of being able to hear the directions that will map out the way for us to go.
What I have realized lately, is that in the process of our lives, there are not many straight paths leading to where we need to be. What I mean by that is each and every one of us has many layers of existence all operating at the same time. What we “do” with these layers on a daily basis is a measure of what our day/week/month will be like. This is a hard thought process to paint a picture with words that are only to me becoming a little clearer as I gain the language to do so. I guess this is what I meant in a earlier post when I said that other people’s words are a comfort to me during these days of movement and transtition towards fully accepting myself and the state I find myself in. These poems and writtings have once again given me a vocabulary to process my thoughts with and come to some conclusions about where I am and the next steps to take.
For instance, what do we do with the loose ends of our lives as we begin each day and head to work? Some of us are like the animals who chew on things for a long time before digesting them. Sometimes we can even see where this food will get stuck somewhere and remain undigested for a time—even as we go about our daily routines. We may have taken too big a bite or been put in position to eat something that was placed in front of us that we would have really not put on our plate in the first place. And an over-the-counter antacid won’t get that lump of undigested food any further along the alimentary canal of our being.
Some of us put the un-resolved matters of life on the shelf and basically leave them behind as we plow into the day. Sometimes we have to build bigger shelves to hold all the stuff that is waiting for us to deal with—and there are those who have to build bigger houses to store all the containers and shelves.
The point being is that none of us has a perfect “WB TV Life” and that some of us deal well with that fact and some of us don’t. We have all seen or known those who don’t—we can even feel the weight of it as we work with them or meet them in the grocery store, gas station or restaurant. The “walking wounded” are all around us or “are” us. And the ways we get there are as numerous as “we” are. My parents didn’t love me—my boss doesn’t appreciate me—my church doesn’t understand me or my needs—etc., etc. and so on down the line.
The tension can be as subtle as going to bed aggravated with your spouse and carrying that aggravation into the next day. It’s no big deal we tell ourselves as we get dressed and wend our way to work—albeit with a little edge in our voice or our step. In the case of leaving a church you have attended and been a part of for 22 years—the hurt is a little deeper and I might add—a little less defined or indentifiable.
I was surprised the other day by how I dealt with feelings about my—shall I dare say—sinful nature or general feelings of un-worthiness. Even before I reached my car I had decided to play a particular song from an International House Of Prayer CD that has been a favorite for several years. It is music extemporaneously recorded at IHOP which is a 24 hour, praise and worship and intercession ministry in Kansas City. The particular song lasts 25 minutes and in the course of spontaneous worship has the verse “..even in my weakness, I am lovely” repeated several times over. It’s about the Father’s love not being taken away from us in the course of us dealing with our carnal nature. As I listened it was if I was able to leave the negative thoughts I was having in the very song itself—like just listening washed me somehow and I was able to walk into my life a little cleaner and clearer than I had been a few minutes before.
Are you weary and heavy laden?, Christ asks—come to me and I will give you rest—he replies, fully knowing the answer. Can we trust Him?—if not who else?
Like I began with: …I have begun again to believe in the
power of a transformed mind and the ability to find healing in faith
Enjoy your ride today—you are not alone.