i'm gonna warn y'all ahead of time. This one gets ugly. Wasn't even going to share it, started it twice and ditched it. But i just read a post in another guy's blog about sharing the good and BAD of your story and while this starts off pretty bad, it got better. So you been warned.
i was driving back to Gehenna for another round of misery, frustration and gnashing of teeth. i was an hour into the drive on a misty-gray day that challenged me to find the right delay setting on the ridiculously useless wipers, a challenge made all the more patience-intesive due to a loose connection somewhere in the switch itself. When out in a soggy field I saw a billboard that said, “Live your Dreams.”
And i wept, for i realized i no longer believe in dreams.
Moments like that, i'm glad i don't pack a gun. i'm far too volatile, far too prone to self-pity. Though strangely, not given to impulsive behavior. i'd rather savor my self-loathing. Feed it like some slimy pet only i could love. i wouldn't put it past me to walk out into the field and put some rounds through the sign though. Somehow i made it the rest of the way up to that lonely outpost on the edge of coaltown blight and settled in to work the labor of the damned. Fully convinced that i was forgotten and forsaken.
Whew! Deep, cleansing breath. In through the nose, ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffp--holdit--holdit--and release it SLOWLY through the mouth... feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwp-p-p-p-blblblbplt. Feel better? Good. That was dark, eh? Yeah. That's what i thought too. But it wasn't until i wrote it down later that night, just like you see it there, that i realized how brain-bugglingly stupidish it was. i looked at it in print and i could see the fallacy as blazingly bright as the sun which never seems to shine here in Pennslobovia anymore. God must have one heck of a highlighter.
First and foremost, that statement, that mood that i allowed myself to descend into walks right up to the cross, right up to Jesus' bloody feet, spits once then looks up with that sneer that only teenagers do right and says, "Yeah? Well what have done for me lately?!" i so often fall into the trap of thinking that because what's going on right now, today, this very minute, because that sucks, God hates me or at the very least, doesn't give a damn. How many times have i even blogged about the very same thing? i know, right? And yet, here i was, doing it again! How many times am i going to have to tell myself that this present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that shall be ours someday? i'm guessing every day until the last one.
The second lie i was believing was that because nothing had happened YET, that it was never going to happen. i mean, really, i'm almost forty, life is obviously over, too late to start something new now. There's nothing for it. Guess i'll just go sit in a corner and slowly decompose for the next thirty to fifty years. Phaugh! A word i so rarely get to write. Pish-posh. At forty, Moses was just getting dumb enough to kill in God's name to jumpstart the revolution. i'll bet he was a Rage Against the Machine fan. God had to cool his heels for forty more years before he was finally broken enough to be useful to God's plan of modeling a humble, Spirit-filled savior for his people. Golly, i hope it don't take me another forty years.
So, what good is all this? You suffered through it, you should take something home. i can't figure out how to pay you each five bucks for your anguish so here's a practical, wrapped for freshness, portable proverb for ya:
When you find yourself in a hole of the spirit, write down what you're thinking. You might be shocked at how much of what upsets you is a lie. Facebook is actually good for this. Have you ever wrote a status and then said, "naw! That's too (depressing, stupid, ignorant, bigoted) even for me."? If you can't do that, try and tell someone, at least say it out loud. Lies breed in dark, closed spaces, bring them into the air and the light and watch them blister and burn. It smells nasty but it feels good. i think this is how some of the Psalms got written.
One last thing though... in order for you to recognize a lie, you gotta know the Truth. If i didn't know Jesus, i wouldn't know salvation, purpose or the Promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth. Without Him i might see the lie and have no reason not to believe it.
So how about it? What lies are you believing? Maybe even based your life on?