It’s been a week or so now since I have been able to post anything. I’d like to say I have a reason for this, but I don’t. Between an ongoing sorrow that I can’t seem to shake and physical ailments that leave me wondering what is going on in my body, I’ve just felt cut off and tucked away of late (or, in Matt Scannell’s description, “Underwater“). This place isn’t too unfamiliar to me. Winter brings it on each year. But so do missteps in my life, when I undercut my own faith in myself and in life. I listen too much to voices that tell me what I should be, and how I should be, to be worthwhile in this world. And I suppose I do this because, at my young age, I still have not resolved within myself who I am and what I am about.
Still, this morning I was able to take a break at work and to go out and walk, and the sun was shining, and the air was, for the first time in a number of months, not cold. As a regional stop on the way to the national college basketball championships, Albuquerque is hosting some impressive teams for two rounds of play at the Pit, and here downtown where I work, you can see that visiting athletes and spectators are out and about. There is an expectancy in the air that great games will ensue here tomorrow and Saturday. March Madness signals the crescendo of college basketball season, which blooms at the end of winter, and gives way to warming months, the primacy of baseball in the sports world, and an awareness that spring and its renewal are on their way.
I struggle greatly with disconnection. I realize this, and that it has been a problem for so much of my life. Why, I do not fully know, but I struggle to feel fully in and completely comfortable in most communities to which I am connected. Because this happens regularly in my life, independent of what group I am around, I know it is an issue that is mine, an issue that stems and flows from within me. Undoubtedly, it relates to the underwater periods I experience from time to time. I wish I didn’t deal with it so much.
I guess the warmth I felt outside walking and the soothing of sunlight helped me to “come up for air” today, and reminded me that in reality, I am not alone. And I am also so grateful for the people in my life that stick with me when I submerge for spells and reappear in strange states. Acceptance is a great gift.
One of my favorite Tweeters, pastor Tullian Tchividjian of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, posted a tweet that I appreciated this morning:
“If you’re a Christian mainly because you want to be changed, that’s a problem. That’s not love of God. That’s love of self.” Mark Galli
The reminder to me here is that God is not a fix-it program, or a recovery group. God is God, the One who made all things, the One who is cloaked in light and love, and who asks us to love Him for who He is- not for what He can do for us.
For a guy too often wrapped up in “me” stuff, it is a great reminder that the life of faith starts and ends with an appreciation of the personhood of God. That is what He hopes we respond to about Him first- that we come to see Him and love Him for who He is, outside of what He does for us. The rest is gravy.