Then David continued, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly. (1 Chronicles 28:20, NLT)This quote was the "theme" of the 2003 "junior" class at LSTC as I came to Chicago two years ago. In fact, all my preparations to leave Kansas for Chicago "Do not be afraid or discouraged...for the Lord God is with you" woven through them.
In retrospect, I have to admit that over the last year and a half (since the first shock-wave hit about my ineligibility for ordination) that I stopped listening to that phrase. As I've mentioned here (a time or two) one recurring idea that I keep struggling with is that God has not failed me - nor really forsaken me - but it does feel like S/He's off tending to other folks. As an AA wife of an Alanon husband once said, "He learned detachment and release - but it sure felt like amputation and disinterest to me."
But now that I know I have to find new employment and a new place to live in the next 60 days, I'm trying to bring this particular piece of scripture back home again. "Be strong and do the work" and "do not be discouraged" both sound like impossibilities to me, at times. An evening of Stargate SG-1 sounds much more entertaining than boxing up books or washing, sorting and packing away clothes. Most of the time, to be honest, a sci-fi video even sounds better than blogging - because at times it just seems like too much effort to be even fractionally open, honest, or vulnerable. I'd much rather pull the covers over my head, go to bed, and stay there - for, oh, a year or so.
The only problem is, it's just a slower form of self-destruction. The one lesson I learned from my friend Skip's suicide is that it solved nothing for him - it didn't fix any of his problems. It only took him out of the solution to those problems. In the same way, turning on The Bourne Identity would be just a more-exciting version of saying "La-la-la-I-can't-hear-you" - it solves nothing. It just burns up the hours I could spend getting closer to solutions.
Honestly, I'd rather have a gasoline enema than move. I hate the prospect that much.
But the uncomfortable fact is that I will either move or be moved. The remaining question is, "How much of a part do I want to play in the decisions?"
Fourteen years ago, a man said to me, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God? Perpahs you could come up with a conception of God that is big enough to help you in your problems, and loving, caring, accepting, and forgiving enough to take you exactly where and how you are, right now." I think that's still good advice.
So I'm going to try to reconnect with a God that will "will not fail me or forsake me," a God that is bigger than the size of the task before me, and a God who will take the broken pillar of my self-image and self-worth and pour the Holy Spirit around me and through me. I'm going to try to trust that the God of my misunderstanding is bigger than I can imagine, and more loving and accepting than any image I can come up with. I'm trusting that this will be a God that will be more than equal to "the size of the task."
Reveal yourself to me, mighty God. I need you now, more than ever. Amen.