Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What if?

I think one of the reasons I'm feeling so down today is plain old envy. I have to struggle against that particular sin a great deal. I have a propensity in that direction, I guess.

I was reading blogs and was reading about a life long dream that got fulfilled in a miraculous way for someone. I'm happy for her. Really, I am.

And yet, envy rears its ugly head.

God knows my wishes. My dreams.

But somehow those are never the right ones.

Because He always says "no".

I despair of even knowing how to pray anymore. Because God always says "no". And as the years go by, I am able to look back at how often I thought I was asking for bread, but was really asking for a stone. And God said "no" and gave me bread instead.

So, I take a deep breath, and learn to pray "Thy will be done." Again and again I must practice this. And it is so difficult. And it is so hard. Hard because my eyes deceive me, and I still find myself reaching for the stones.

Perhaps I learn. I cast all my desires down onto the ground and I dare not even pick them up to examine them. And I repeat my refrain "Thy will be done" by sheer stubborn force of will. My emotions have not caught up yet.

And my life is so small, it seems.

And what if....what if...when all is said and done, and I have finally learned to desire ONLY GOD....

...what if He does not give Himself to me?

...oh God have mercy on me...

5 comments:

Ishmael said...

This is beautiful writing. Both the beautiful sadness and your openness remind me of Kerouac. I don't know if you've ever read anything of his, but he is one of my favorites because he has a gift for turning sadness into something beatific.
His book Visions of Gerard is about losing his older brother to some sort of sickness that escapes my recollection. It is heartbreaking of course, but the Gerard that Kerouac shows us is a saintly child, even angelic in the midst of his sickness.
May God have mercy on us all. I'll keep you in my prayers.

H and S said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I LOVE it. So many things resonate with me. Your honesty and intimate detail are so encouraging to me. Thank you. Selena (Australia)

elizabeth said...

I hear you… I liked on of Fr. Stephen Freeman’s recent posts about the goodness of God. In the end, we have to trust that God is good and that He will listen to our plea to “not take the Holy Spirit from me” …

I can totally relate to the struggle with envy and dreams – almost everything I thought my life would be is not – I am not married, not living in the country (I grew up in the country and did not know I would one day live in a city), I am not an English professor, I am not a published writer, etc etc … but… I am Orthodox now, I have been given a spiritual father and spiritual mothers, brothers and sisters, and God continues to be merciful…

And I also deeply and consistently relate to the struggle of housework!

Lord have mercy on us!!!

Ishmael said...

For Alana:

"Come to me, says the Way.
The way seems long
Because you cannot see the end.
But when you reach the end and look back,
The way will seems so very short,
And you will see that you could never have known happiness
Unless you had known that sadness,
That sadness of following the way which seemed so long.

You will be thankful.
You will be glad that things happened just as thy did,
That they are just as they are.
You will be thankful in the harbor,
If only you can endure to the end." -- Fr. Damascene, from Christ the Eternal Tao

Elizabeth,
I have shared some of your unfulfilled dreams: like you, I grew up in the country and always envisioned returning to that sort of life some day. I'm in the middle of a city. I envisioned myself working as an English prof. and publishing too. Not doing that either. But life is joyful nonetheless. Nice to hear what you have to say.

Alana said...

Dear brother Ishmael,

thank you for those words. They are very encouraging. I have that book on my shelf, have looked through it a time or two but never read it cover to cover. Perhaps that will be on my lenten reading list.