Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Microwave Society

The other day during a conversation with one of the pastors at my church, he made the comment that we are a “microwave society,” meaning that we want everything quickly and easily. That is so true!

As I spent some time thinking about the depth of truth that lies in his comment, I will readily admit that based on all of the growing pains I’ve been going through over the last 10 months, I’m ready to be done! I want out of all the pain, anguish and sadness I've been experiencing because, quite simply, I'm exhausted! You see sitting in this place of pain, and allowing myself to actually feel it, takes an enormous amount of energy. More energy than I believe I have at the moment.

Of course, this is probably the perfect time to call upon the words of Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” but I keep wondering how I’m supposed to do that when I literally don’t feel like I have any time at all in which I can take a break and “rest!”

One of my favorite new authors is a gentleman named Henri Nouwen, and I just started reading his book, "The Inner Voice of Love."

Based on where I am at the moment, and after reading his introduction to the book, I knew it was something I wanted to dive into headfirst, as here is part of what he writes:

“This book is my secret journal. It was written during the most difficult period of my life, from December 1987 to June 1988. That was a time of extreme anguish, during which I wondered whether I would be able to hold onto my life. Everything came crashing down -- my self-esteem, my energy to live and work, my sense of being loved, my hope for healing, my trust in God ... everything. Here I was, a writer about the spiritual life, known as someone who loves God and gives hope to people, flat on the ground and in total darkness.

What had happened? I had come face to face with my own nothingness. It was as if all that had given my life meaning was pulled away and I could see nothing in front of me but a bottomless abyss.

The strange thing was that this happened shortly after I had found my true home. After many years of life in universities, where I never felt fully at home, I had become a member of L'Arche, a community of men and women with mental disabilities. I had been received with open arms, given all the attention and affection I could ever hope for, and offered a safe loving place to grow spiritually as well as emotionally. Everything seemed ideal. But precisely at that time I fell apart -- as if I needed a safe place to hit bottom!

All of this was triggered by the sudden interruption of a friendship ... But this deeply satisfying friendship became the road to my anguish, because soon I discovered that the enormous space that had been opened for me could not be filled by the one who had opened it ...

Intellectually I knew that no human friendship could fulfill the deepest longing of my heart. I knew that only God could give me what I desired. I knew that I had been set on a road where nobody could walk with me but Jesus. But all this knowledge didn't help me in my pain.”

While I don’t know about you, I can relate to everything he shared about his own struggle. In fact, the one comment he made that really hit home with me was that his world came crashing down after he had found his "true home;" that he seemed to need “a safe place to hit bottom.” I can totally relate to that idea because that's exactly how I feel about living in Montana; like I've finally found the place where I belong -- a "safe haven" in which I can heal mentally, physically and emotionally.

Additionally, I can relate to the fact that he also experienced a "trigger" which sent him into his abyss (which is also what sent me into my own spiritual crisis), and that he knew the only thing that could fill the hole in his heart was Christ, which is exactly how I feel and something I mentioned to my pastor.

They say “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” and that’s exactly how I’m feeling these days as God is slowly starting to reveal Himself to me once again, and for that I am truly grateful!

No comments:

Post a Comment