Today, I feel a little spent. Weary and drained, I sit here at Quay with a pile of data to enter for work and I feel a deep sigh on my lips. So instead, I blog.
I have heard the phrase, "Preach the Gospel to yourself every day". And in this melancholy season, that sounds a bit exhausting. Because the truth of it is, I shouldn't have to find the Gospel in everything, the Gospel has found me. Jesus has found me in the midst of long days and frustrating customers and too much to do. And He lets me rest in Him through the lonely evenings and with nothing to do and the dejection at feeling unable to develop good friendships and self-pity. Granted, this season feels more hard than it actually is because I have not made the time to emotionally reconcile, but hard is also simply hard sometimes.
I welcome a bit of reprieve on the weekends. I adore my job, it is purely a gift from the Lord and He provided for me so much better for me in this job than I could have imagined after graduating. But at almost 9 months, I am at the point of reflection. The point where adjustments are smaller and the dust has settled and I'm reviewing. Weighing my expectations versus my realities and considering what to do about the both of them. It's something that I do every year, usually around this time, the time when we are beginning to kick off winter like a blanket that is too hot a night.
While some days I am more off-kilter than others, I am mainly filled with gratitude and contentment. Honestly, I don't particularly have strong feelings about this season of life, just recognition. I am quite aware of differences but don't have a strong preference for or against them.
I find myself struck this morning by that first reality I mentioned, that the Gospel has found me. That my life is not so far from Him because He is in me. I don't have to strive and dig around for the "right" way to think, I just have to ask to see Him here. He just wants me to see the Gospel in everything, and that takes His work, not mine. I often see the world as needing rather than remembering that Jesus created it, so while distorted, it is still a functional reality of His Person. It is it's own manifestation of His Goodness. As are our creations. As is my job. As are relationships. As is solitude. As is contemplation. All parts of this life reflect Him because He is all parts of life. I think more often than not, my lack of ability to see Him comes from my separation of life and Christ. Namely, being untrusting.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says, "To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you."
And that about sums it up for me. I've been in the camp of pre-emptive living. Looking to Jesus to fulfill things I'm perceiving I am in need of, in fear that He won't provide what I need. I forget that He is already in me, working out my salvation on my behalf and that insinuates constant provision for me. My busy rhythms and tired rhythms are okay because they are not the end. My mother lives so closely by the mantra, "God will give me everything I need to do everything He calls me to do". So I have it all already, I am just greedy.
This middle period is so frustrating sometimes. It's hard to get my bearings when I feel like I'm rolling through a river in a barrel. But really, it does nothing but salve my mind to know why things are happening. Does knowing why something is happening change how I react to it? And should it? Ought not the process always be the same, with the same integrity and desire, regardless of the ending or lack of insight to it? Maybe the point of change isn't so much in the result but in the shaping during the process. And if that is the case, then I hope every time I choose the hard way, the one that softens my hard edges the most.
The reason I blog is for perspective. To leave things rolling around in my mind is like trying to solve a Rubex Cube without ever physically moving the pieces. This allows me to categorize and emphasize and DE-emphasize things. And I can see it all a little clearer. It may be no more resolved than when I started, but it certainly stirs up some tenacity to keep going. Mainly because it takes me back to knowing I'm actually not the one doing anything anyway. I suppose that's really what it is. Writing things down forces me to see that I am completely incapable and Jesus is perfectly capable, I don't have to try so much.
One paragraph prior to the quote above, C.S. Lewis also said, "and what matters is the nature of the change in itself, not how we feel while it is happening. It is the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God."
And that's where I end it. He is all. I am naught.