24. it seems a million miles away but it gets a little closer everyday
It’s happening. The shell is chipping away, bit by bit, piece by peace, the soft, fleshy inside is making it’s way out into the deep, dark, beautiful world with all of it’s danger and adventure.
I’ve come to understand that God is God and I am not. What I mean is, for the longest time I held a kind of grudge against God, thinking that he had done me wrong in various situations close to my heart. God was Lucy and I was Charlie Brown, flat on my back wondering why I let God talk me into trying to kick the football again. Without going into too much detail, there were a couple of key times in my life where I really felt God was urging me towards a course of action that seemed too wonderful to be true – so wonderful that I didn’t want to believe it but the signs seemed unmistakable so I ran with it but just as I was about to kick the ball between the goal posts, it was snatched away from me and all that built up momentum had nowhere to go so it dropped me flat on my ass. And all I could do was wonder why God would do such a thing.
Anyway, epiphany number one has to do with the realization that God is God and I am not. I don’t understand his ways but by faith, I have to believe that God is a just god and that he loves me, despite what seems like evidence to the contrary. On top of that, even if God did lead me on and left me hanging, that’s his right because he is God and I am not. On top of that, even if he did those things on purpose because that was his right, he is still worthy of all the praise and honor that my body can bring – becaue he is God and I am not.
I suppose one could read that phrase, “God is God and I am not,” as a kind of hopeless resignation or a kind of mocking defiance. I just state it as a simple fact to be taken at face value. It’s a statement, like saying one plus one equals two. That’s just how it is. God is God and I am not.
There used to be a time when I thought that the girl of my dreams was just around the corner. There were times when she seemed so very close that I could reach out and run my fingers through her imaginary hair. (see the blog entry “ready or not” to read excerpts from some of my old journals from this time) But despite how close she seemed, she never materialized. The feeling would pass and all that was left was this gaping void that I had cleared away for her. And it would hurt and I would feel silly for thinking that the feeling was anything more than my imagination working overtime and without even noticing it, another layer was added to the shell around my heart.
Epiphany number two is the thought that maybe it wasn’t a woman I should have been anticipating. Maybe that feeling of being so close to something I’ve always wanted wasn’t my longing to meet my soulmate, rather it was my longing to encounter God. But I missed out because instead of looking for God, I was looking for her. She wasn’t there to be found but maybe God was and I missed out because I was looking the wrong way.
I won’t make this mistake again. There have been moments, brief but unmistakable, where I’ve felt that sense of anticipation again. But I know what this is now. It isn’t my soulmate who’s around the corner, it’s God. Or maybe it’s something else. I won’t guess as to what this feeling of expectation is leading me towards – I’ll just follow and wait and see.
Two epiphanies. They haven’t changed me overnight but they certainly are helping to erode away the walls around my heart – yes, “erode,” is the right word because it’s a slow process but it’s also a relenteless process. It looks harmless enought but carved the Grand Canyon out of the ground.
I used to be a happy, go lucky kind of guy. That seems a million miles away from where I am now but it gets a little closer everyday.