I remember a number of years ago that I had examined my life, and found many aspects lacking. Whether due to a sermon, a book I was reading, I’m not sure, but I remember fervently praying, “God, make me like Christ. Make my life like Christ’s, my thoughts, my attitudes. Mould me, shape me, make me like Christ.” In retrospect, perhaps I should have prayed for God to leave me alone. I’m being facetious, but my main point is that when one prays a prayer like that, God takes you at your word. I swear the answer I heard to that prayer was a chuckle, and then, “Ok son, hang on. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.”
And so it has been. Clearly I am not even close to that goal, but believe it or not, I am light years closer than I was when I first prayed that prayer.
So I guess this weekend shouldn’t have been a surprise, but wow! It has been a few weeks since I have had what I call a “decompression weekend.” I was really looking forward to a relaxing couple days, reading a bit, watching a couple movies, hanging out with friends. Believe me, that is not what I got.
On Friday, Beth and I were scheduled to meet with another couple for dinner. However, I had gotten a two shots on Thursday (Hepatitis A and tetanus, specifically, t-dap) for the upcoming Dominican Republic trip. Friday afternoon, I reacted to the shot(s). I had a low grade fever and chills so bad that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see an arm or leg get shaken right off my body. Needless to say, we cancelled the dinner plans (picked them up on Saturday evening).
Saturday morning, I learned that a potential business opportunity had in all likelihood fallen through. Being a “planner,” I had been playing with all the possibilities in my head, and having a ball. Seeing that the opportunity might not be there was extremely disappointing. Actually, it rocked me pretty badly. Stunned, disappointed, frustrated, sad. It pretty much affected the whole day (and it did indeed fall through. Not sure why, but there it is).
Sunday? Well, I posted on Facebook, a rather mild post regarding a really controversial topic. It was intended by me as basically a throwaway, just a two liner to blow off a bit of steam about the topic. But what a firestorm it started. My Christianity was called into question, my integrity insulted, and I was absolutely pounded from multiple directions. For any of you familiar with the game Civilization V (I am a self-confessed addict, by the way), I felt like what it must be like to play the game as Gandhi, and find out your civilization is sandwiched between Russia and Germany. You just know it isn’t going to turn out well. It got to the point that an aquaintence of mine from high school insulted me and immediately unfriended me. I’m still puzzled at that one. I have my suspicions, but whatever. I was surprised by the vehemence of others’ opinions, and the venom in some of the responses to me. Because I was surprised, and because I am struggling with other stuff (including the D.R. trip), it really hit hard. Sleep came fitfully Sunday night, and in total there was precious little actual sleep by the time I needed to get up on Monday morning.
In any event, each day of the weekend was worse than the day before, and continued into Monday at work. It was one of those days…
Which brings me back to my original point. I have little doubt this is all due in some cosmic way, at least in part, to the D.R. trip. I have little doubt that this is all designed to assist in knocking off my rough edges, and to mould me into a more Christ-like man. But really? All this does little to dispell the notion of me lying curled up on the ground, battered and beaten. “How long, Oh, Lord?” Wow. This is really difficult, and I have no idea how long it’ll last. Don’t know how to get past it, don’t know how to let it go. It’s like a marathon, and I’ve been training for a five mile race. 2 Chron 20.12, “…We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”