I’ve heard that hindsight is 20/20. You?
In transferring old posts over to the new blog, this one caught my attention. It had been stuck in draft land, never published, being a general waste of space. I wrote this fiction conversation with God in early 2010. It pertains to a pretty poignant and frustrating journey He was taking me (dragging me) on. A journey that culminated in the best lesson of my life. If you’re bored, cause it’s long, have at it:
So I’m not really insane, at least, I’m not aware of being insane. I guess that doesn’t prove much.I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to pray without ceasing. I used to think the whole idea was sort of impossible, but lately I’m not so sure. There are days when I keep a running dialogue in my head with God open 24/7… times when I’m angry, or grateful, or hurt, or, most often, confused. It strikes me that when you are actually praying without ceasing, you, if you are at all like me, wind up praying for the wrong thing the vast majority of the time… or complaining, or arguing with God and trying to weasel out of learning something. It’s amazing that God isn’t telling disrespectful, willful, slow to catch on me to just sit down and shut up for awhile. Then again, maybe He is…I’ve never directly heard God speak, but I often imagine how our conversations might go. Granted, I certainly don’t speak for God… these are just my personal imaginings. This year, they sound a bit like this:
Me: I’d like to go on record as saying that this is a truly terrible idea.
Him: I tend to know what I’m doing, you know.
Me: Yes, but, have you seen what goes on here? This is silly. I mean, waste of time and effort silly. This is one long detour to doom, that’s what this is.
Him: You’d like to abandon ship?
Me: Yes please.
Him: Good luck with that, kid.
Me: Ok, you have clearly not been paying enough attention to this situation.
Him: I’m on it. These things take time. At least, they do when you need to learn important things like how to be patient for more than fifteen seconds.
Me: Hilarious. I’m uncomfortable here, and you’re being funny.
Him: I love you. Wait for it.
Me: What “it”? There’s no potential “it” here, pal. This is crazy people talk. You’re making me seem totally out of my mind.
Me: So I have this idea, and I’m telling you, it’s a winner.
Him: Funny… could have sworn we were still working on my idea here.
Me: But this one is better. Loads. Realistic, even. And happening. I have a plane ticket and everything. It’s all set up. I’m pretty sure this is the way to go.
Him: That’s adorable. Watch this.
Me: Seriously? Seriously? That was going to work out really well for me, you know.
Him: Terribly sorry to inconvenience you.
Me: And what’s with the other people? You’ve got other people in on this now? How did you get them on your side? You’re all nuts… clearly, this is a completely impossible situation.
Me: Or it’s a completely unlikely situation.
Me: Or… damn.
Me: Stop it. You’re making me all hopeful. I don’t want to be hopeful. Hopeful in this situation is most absolutely halfway to devastated. I definitely don’t want to be devastated. You’re making me devastated.
Him: Rough day?
Me: No. Shut up.
Him: Are you blushing?
Him: Perhaps you’re starting to enjoy this, maybe just a little?
Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Me: Ok, you get that I have absolutely no idea what to do in this situation, right?
Him: That’s sort of the plan.
Me: And you do know that makes me super, super uncomfortable?
Him: Shocker. Perhaps we could focus on remembering that this might not be all about you?
Me: Right, but, if I ask you to handle it, I mean, can I just ask you to handle it?
Him: You may. You might be missing the point a bit, but you may.
Me: It’s just that I really want this.
Him: I know. You should consider checking in with me from time to time to make sure what you want is in line with what I’m doing, what is holy, what is best.
Me: Where’s the fun in that? No, seriously, I’m trying.
Me: Thank you. I see all the little bones you keep throwing my way, you know. Thank you. You’re kind of great.
Him: You’re welcome.
Me: But you’re on this, right? Cause it still doesn’t look right to me down here.
Him: I’ve got you. And you’re learning, are you not?
Me: Please, please, please, please, pretty please?
Him: Weren’t you the one who was all “This is a terrible idea” and “You’re crazy” and “I want to jump ship”?
Me: I’m an idiot. I promise I’ll never ask for anything again if you give me this one thing.
Me: Not really. But please, please, please, please?
Him: Wait for it. Try being still.
Me: But I’ve waited for-ev-er and I’m all hopeful and itchy.
Me: Oh, man, you are awesome!
Him: I know, right?
Me: I mean, wow, I thought you were nuts, and I mean, wow. Wow. wow.
Him: Wait. Be still.
Me: Ok. Ok. I’m panicking a little here. Something is off with this plan of yours.
Him: I love you.
Me: I know.
Him: Be still.
Me: No thank you?
Him: I love you.
Me: I know.
Me: Seriously? Seriously? That’s not fair. I feel a little bit like you set me up here, man.
Him: Wait. Be still. I love you.
Me: I know. I don’t seem to be able to make this happen on my own.
Him: I know.
Me: So you’re on it?Him: Still on it. Always on it.
Me: Thank you. I love you.
Him: I know.
Me: Apparently that’s the sound I make when I’m annoyed because you keep doing beautiful things and not letting me be mad at you.
Him: Oh. Were you thinking I was less great somehow because things weren’t going according to your plan?
Me: I take the fifth.
Him: Cute. Here’s the thing, little girl. I love you. I love you and I know what I’m doing. Trust me. It’s better my way than your way. You’ll thank me later. I’m pretty good at all of this.
Me: Yeah…what sucks, though, is I get that I’m going to look back and go “Oh, right, I see what you were doing there” but I’d much rather see it now. There’s the part of me that wants to trust without question, and wants to be the girl who prays “not my will but yours” and “make me less that you may be more,” but the selfish part of me is loud and obnoxious and difficult to reign in, and she’s just tired. I want to stop thinking about this all of the time. I want to be able to DO something.
Him: Seriously. Wait. Be still. Trust me. Be hopeful. Do you really have that much to complain about?
Me: This isn’t fair. I can’t win this argument.
Me: I hate being small.
Him: I know. Good thing this life isn’t really about you.
Me: Right. I’m obviously super great at remembering that part.
Him: Maybe this whole thing is for my glory. Just a thought.
Me: I’m an idiot.
Him: Wait. Be still. Know.
A year later, I can tell you this entire emotional journey culminated in the weight of a single sentence: “On paper, you’re exactly the right kind of girl.” A sentence that might sound like rejection, but was one I so desperately needed to hear from a source I would believe, and the sentence that made me ready to meet the love of my life. Favorite showed up a month later, and I was so ready for him. I would relive every frustrated second of that year a thousand times for that lesson, this love, and the life I have today. Sometimes we have to learn things the long way, in order to be sure they’ll stick.
I know this much is true: God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good.
(PS The real Angry Conversations with God is very worth reading. You can buy it here.)