30 August 2011

questions and soup

What things are you trying to figure out in your life? What is that question that you're trying to answer?Maybe its "who am I" or  "why am I going to college" or "what should I do now" or maybe something completely different. 

 I read something today in my Social Psychology textbook that kind of goes along with those questions. It was the beginning of a section titled, Introducing the Self. 
Are you a "good" person? What could you do to reach your long-term goals? Why do you think others view you as they do? Although we all struggle to find the right answers to questions like these, we ask them of ourselves easily and naturally.
I know this may not seem like it really has anything to do with epiphanies and figuring things out and answering questions. However, I think it does so just stick with me. The part that stuck out for me was not the questions themselves. It was what the authors wrote about the questions and  answers. "Although we all struggle to find the right answers to questions...we ask them of ourselves easily and naturally." Answers to questions such as "who am I" or "what is my purpose" or "who type of person do I want to date" are hard. They take lots of introspection and time and effort and even more questions that require answers. But maybe its not about the answers. Maybe its about actually asking the questions and sitting in the question, letting it soak in, letting it stew a little, letting it absorb into your being. Yes, that is a thousand times more difficult than just quickly coming up with an answer to the question just so that it isn't left unanswered. And yes, it might seem really stupid, illogical, and silly to leave a question unanswered. However, what if by leaving it a raw, unanswered question for awhile, you find something that you hadn't thought possible when you first asked the question. What if your raw, unanswered questions became soup? A soup of exquisite goodness, of delightful flavor, of possibilities and dreams, of hope and love. So take the chance of leaving the questions in your life unanswered, let them simmer in your heart, and maybe just maybe, you'll have soup for your soul.

07 August 2011

the desert and declarations

Have you ever felt like you were alone, wandering through a lonely desert, unsure of where you're going or what your purpose is there? Have you ever felt like no matter how loud you shouted, nobody could hear you?

I have struggled a lot with feeling like that since the sickness started. So many times I have felt that not one person understood what I was dealing with. Oh sure they could read about it and understand in a small way but nobody had gone through what I was going through. I felt so very alone.

I feel like I woke up one day in the middle of a wide expansive desert, not a tree in sight nor any body of water. All I could see was dry, cracked earth reaching as far as the eye could see. I didn't have any idea how I got there or why I was there; all I knew was that I was supposed to walk and keep walking until I could somehow escape the desert. It was a very silent area - no people, no cars, no city noises, no animals, nothing except for me and the hard, cracked dirt. I couldn't call out for help, it might bring unspoken danger. I couldn't rest, if I did, then I might die for lack of wanting to get up again.

I don't know how to get out of my desert. Elle, my counselor, compared my desert to the Israelites' 40 years wandering  in the desert. Their desert was a time of cleansing, of getting rid of the impurities in the characters of each person. What was left at the end of the 40 years was a group who had faith, a faith that had endured through 40 years of wandering and waiting. I'm not sure what the purpose of my desert is. Maybe it is to purify my character, to get rid of the impurities. Or maybe it has a whole other purpose that I can't see yet. But maybe its not about knowing what the purpose is. Maybe its about being open to God's work in you, in your character, your desires, your thoughts.

"In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on youI won't leave you." ~ Joshua 1:5 (The Message)

Abba, I feel alone in my desert. It feels like you have given up on me, that you have left me. Thank you for reminding me that you are with me. You didn't leave Moses or the Israelites and you won't leave me. Help me to remember, when the lies that I am all alone are crowding in, that you have declared that you will never leave me. As you wish.