Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm Not Normal

The title of today's post is what I want to name my memoir that I plan to start editing next week.  I think it's a good title, and I'll tell you why.

This past fall I went to a conference at my church led by Ruth Haley Barton.  It was called Sacred Rhythms, about developing spiritual habits in our relationship with God.  In one session, Ruth asked us to visualize ourselves as the blind beggar in Mark 10: 46-52.  Here is the text:

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Ruth then asked us to pretend that Jesus was talking to us when He asked "what do you want me to do for you?"  We were instructed to not censor our thoughts, but to be brutally honest with God and ourselves. 

The thought that popped out of my mind was, "I want to be normal!"  I was shocked that I thought such a thing.  I thought I had already dealt with all that.  I thought I accepted my physical appearance, my jobless state, my single status.  But even so, at times I still struggle with it.  When I see a happy couple, when someone gets a great job, or when I see a pretty woman be successful.  Jealousy rears its ugly head (no pun intended), and I wallow in self-pity and shame. 

I guess in life we all struggle with what we don't have at times.  Life always looks greener on the other side.  I know marriages are not all happy, I have seen my share of them.  I know jobs are fleeting, people lose them everyday.  I know pretty women get old too.  It's just at times, I want that anyways.  But then, I think, I can barely cope with what little problems I have in my life now, how could I cope with more?  I've quit jobs because I couldn't cope with them.  I am too stubborn and independent for any man, and difficult to live with!  I've known pretty women and they have problems too. 

I guess I just have to take it one day at a time.   Not dwell on past regrets, not fear the future and old age.  But the here and now.  That's all I have control over anyways.  As usual, I am challenged to just trust in God.  I don't know what I'd do without him.

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