I'm realizing as life goes on that God is NOT the God of the 'quick and tidy neat ending, where everything is easily resolved.' I think it probably is His desire to have us left hanging for long periods of time so that we are forced to trust whether we like it or not! I used to struggle against this a lot but I think I'm at peace with it now.
Those are words of wisdom from my good friend Saruman. He is not the first person to remind me of this nature of God. A wise elven elder told me before that waiting for God to work things out to my satisfaction was my favorite recipe for disappointment, and I had to learn to wait on Him more deliberately if I were to find fulfillment in the everyday routine of things. It’s 2006 and I’m up to my old tricks in the department of impatience.
Oprah understands me as well, for she writes in the September 2005 issue of her magazine:
“The dog has been walked, the birthday card has been mailed, and the mortgage has been paid. You’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do; now it’s time to get started on that one thing you’ve been aching to do… if only you knew what it was. Maybe, to paraphrase U2, you still haven’t found what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re just plain stuck.”
And as her magazine encourages women to live “our best life”, one page is devoted to “Things to Think”, from “Morning Poems” by Robert Bly. It’s a refreshing piece of poetry.
Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.
Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.
When someone knocks at the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
That feeling used to be second nature to me, consisting of mild panic at the thought that I wasn’t as busy as the people around me, and that if I were to lie down, even if I were sick, the world would stop turning, a disaster would erupt, and I would get all the blame. (And my conscience speaks: Somebody remind her that she's not starring in her own TV show, that she's not Felicity, Ally McBeal, or Dawson! I have news for you: the sun is at the center of the solar system, sweetie. Not you.)
In the process of ironing out most of the glitches in my belief system, my spiritual leaders have convinced me to be nicer to myself and to get healed before I got worse. I try to share that with my sisters in Lingkod. I tell them that we are not responsible for the salvation of the world. That was already accomplished by Jesus. We should act the part of the ones who were saved. Yet like most women I still haven’t gotten the hang of this letting-go-and-letting-God piece of advice.
This reflection admittedly comes after a few days of boredom. I was not familiar with being bored, because I used to not have the luxury of time for that. Yet I found myself over the weekend restless after realizing that I had recently been to the dentist, gone to confession, seen most of my friends, spent time with family, even actually ticked off a whole page in my To Do list AND accomplished some of my New year decisions. Then I spent some sleepless nights just reading and surfing, waiting for the sensation that would tell my body to call it a day everytime.
Funny, but now I know that I actually was having a worry-free time, and I grew restless in the midst of it. My mind was preoccupied at all the things God had left hanging for this year, and I waited for big news to come – through a phone call, a door bell, an email or a text message, or a post card. I was waiting for some news that would tell me about my future. Or answer the biggest questions in life -like why I hadn't talked with a certain close friend over irreconcilable differences for almost a year now; or why all of a sudden, I'm next in line (chronologically speaking) in the family to get married; or why I refer legal queries to my lawyer friends instead of answering them myself. I could die and not find answers to these, right!
This is the struggle of people who live for highlights and deadlines. When we are faced with opportunities to dine in the middle of the day al fresco, to stop and smell the proverbial flowers, and to spend our time any which way we want to, we start to wonder if it’s just the eye of the storm and we’re about to find out that something is wrong.
I pray that I could, like Saruman, be more at peace with what is before me. As a brother once said, and as I probably wrote already before somewhere int his blog, trust an unknown future to a known God.
Perhaps I should read my own journals and reflections more often!