Chris called this afternoon and told me he’d like for me to have a night out on my own tonight. Needless to say, I was thrilled and touched that he would think to suggest it, and I was also feeling like some time by myself would be heaven.
So, Chris got home from work around 5:00 and I left shortly after that. I didn’t even make dinner… I just headed out the door with no set agenda for myself.
Some people work well this way- with no plans ahead of them. They wander about the city and bump into adventure without much effort.
I am not one of these people.
If I don’t have a plan set in place, I resort to my default: wandering around in stores without buying anything because (imagine this!) I don’t actually need any more things. So, I wander aimlessly through isles for hours because, well, I guess because it’s safe. And I can never think of anything else to do.
By the time I arrived back home, I was disillusioned with myself again. (Will this feeling EVER go away?) I felt like I’d wasted my precious “me” time. I felt like I was boring and lonely and BLAH. I felt like my life somewhat resembled one of the hundreds of pointless knick-knacks I’d wandered past throughout the evening- just tucked away on a cluttered shelf with no purpose, no true function other than to sit and gather dust.
I could have holed up in a coffee shop somewhere and poured over pages in a book or written feverishly in one of my journals until I felt my mind finally break through the fog. I could have called up a friend and had great conversation. I could have breathed fresh air or people watched for hours. I could have prayed. I could have found a quaint little place to eat and savored each flavor of a delicious meal.
I did none of these things.
Instead, I wandered around in fluorescent light- devoting my time to looking at things I don’t even need.
And it’s not just this evening, either. I fill my time during the days with television, Internet, chores, busywork. I am afraid to sit still. I am terrified of spending any time with myself. When I stop moving, I start thinking about the life I’m choosing not to have by hunkering down in my ridiculous comfort zones- forced to look at the glaringly obvious contrast between the life I’m actually leading and the life I’ve been called to.
I’ve had no desire to talk to God lately. To spend any time with Him. But I can feel Him asking for me. I hear it deep down in my gut. It is a call to more. The more that I want so badly but am also so afraid of. So, I busy myself. I avoid silence, stillness. I go on feeling unsatisfied. Adulterous. Unwilling to face the ugly truth:
My hands have been building a kingdom that won’t last. A kingdom based on my wants and desires and whims. And I’m tired, yet still I refuse to give up the campaign. I’m like that one little pig who built his house out of straw- seeking shelter from the wind behind the safeguard of DRY GRASS. Every little breeze knocks another wall down. And I am quickly running out of things to prop them up with.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations.
You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
THIS is what I don’t have. THIS is what I am missing. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Satisfying the needs of the oppressed.
These are the things that lay the bricks; the things that eventually build a life worth living in.