So, I am finally feeling better…..better than I have felt in several weeks, mentally, emotionally, and physically. These past few weeks, even though, ultimately, I could complain of stomach cramps, a tweeked neck, and a heavy cold, I felt…..well, man…..I felt like utter and complete crap.
It shocks me that with all of our advances in medicine, technology, communication, comforts and eases we provide ourselves in this day and age, a common cold can still wipe us out. Humanity used to die from a common cold and now it is just a “nuisance.” I was wiped out! I couldn’t go to work, I could barely function and because of that, was definitely not a peach to be around. I didn’t even want to be around myself, I felt sick, unproductive and crappy, just utter crap that people throw on the streets. Well, mentally at least; reiterating even more so how much the physical and mental are connected and mutually effect one another.
During this time, I had to come to terms with my self-identity. I couldn’t be “productive,” in the manner that I judge productivity, checking off items on my list of things to get done, books to read, errands to run, Bible passages to read in the morning, prayers said…..I realize how insignificant it all is….not the Bible reading of the praying, or any of the other stuff for that matter, but the fact that I define myself and rely on what I do to determine my sense of worth, hit me hard. I literally had to sit down all day and rest….that was the hardest thing, and physically it made all the difference, but mentally, I was suffering…I felt useless, worthless and unproductive…..barely one day had passed before I was asking God, “Why? Why God is this happening to me? Ahhhh, I am useless, I want to make a difference and be something to someone! Why am I sick? Heal me so I can keep living!” Yes, dramatic and playing the victim. To write it out and look at it from the outside, my “lamenting” is trivial and so minute compared to what others experience. True pain and suffering is something that I won’t claim to understand. But Jesus can.
He went through it all, and more, He went to Hell and back, was tempted, lived in the world we did and experienced all the human emotions that we experience on a day to day basis. He felt depression, he laughed, he cried, he experienced loss just like we do.
During the week and a half or more that I have been sick and recouping, I have leaned much more heavily on God, because frankly, that was all I could do. That was all I knew how to do. Yes, doctors helped me with medication, friends listened to me and asked if I needed soup, I had people who were there if I needed something, but what I guess I really needed, and God knew this, was that I needed a spiritual “pick-me-up.” No, no, I wouldn’t call it a pick-me-up so much as a humbling, awakening (not in the New Age sense), but one where it hit me that I have to and need to rely on God 100% for everything. That God is not a want, God is not an, “Ok, he fits into my schedule this time and this day.” He is not an option. He just isn’t and that is very difficult to come to terms with. I think I will struggle with this all my life to some extent. God is a necessity in my life and while I was sick, I was able to reconnect with him, to be honest with him about my thoughts and feelings, to pray ernestly and intently, to be more fully in communion and relationship with him.
I keep running my life, my own life, how I want it……seeking approval from God instead of seeking guidance from him. I have dreams and desires in my heart, and I get excited about dancing and music and creativity and cultures and people and beauty…..all of these excite me and drive my life, but then the world comes into play and I take it the next step that would, in the end, glorify me more than God. I don’t want a fake relationship with God, I don’t want to “use” him for my needs and wants, and I pray that my needs and wants align more closely to his needs and wants for my life, for the world, and for his kingdom.
It’s kind of crazy to give your life to God; actually, it’s pretty radical, if you ask me. There is so much I don’t understand, and don’t need to understand, so much that I think and judge, and don’t need to, and when it comes down to the basics, which is always the best, because it is the simplest (yet the hardest to carry out) is to love God with all of my heart, mind and soul and to love my neighbor as myself.
Love, this tricky little word that never fails to stupefy humanity…..we don’t have enough of unconditional and true love. The definition of unconditional and true love is a topic for another post, or another book.
But wow, I thank God for humbling me and I pray for the strength to walk in obedience to him and the calling he has on my life.