Monday, February 15, 2010

Why can't I Trust Him?

For my more secular readers, I apologize in advance, because probably for the foreseeable future I'll probably be posting a lot more about my life and my faith than my classroom, and that's mainly because my life and my faith is pretty much punching me in my face on a minute-by-minute basis, and my classroom is currently in a spate of mundane cruise control in that nothing dumb they say is cute or remarkable any more. So, until then I need something to blog about. I wish my life wouldn't have seen the need to supersede this.

Anyway, as I had posted last week, I was waiting for a decision that was going to change the direction of my life. When it came down the pipe, I wasn't terribly shocked because I had cynically prepared for the bad news. I prepared for the inevitable conversation to negotiate how this was going to work out. I had prepared and had a plan that was going to work because it was one of those odd compromises in that neither side would leave unhappy because both sides would get what they wanted. That lasted about fifteen minutes until it became evident that what constituted a good outcome was two very different meanings to the same word, and the only person that would be giving anything up would be me--and it would have to be on their terms if I got anything I had been asking for. In the end, it was worst case scenario time, and despite fighting an often-desperate rear guard action, I conceded defeat and slumped off the phone to look at the fiery wreck that was now my life.

A couple of phone calls to some close friends to relay the news started me on the road to recovery because they convinced me that it wasn't as bad as I thought and that there was a way to save it in the end... if I just had patience and trusted God. As the weekend rolled on the number of people I had tell me about the story of Joseph and the necessity of trusting God led me to believe that I might be onto something and the game plan I had going into this wasn't the Nutri-Grain bar I ate at the Promethean training that Thursday afternoon at the Central Office, but rather I really did hear from God.

Going into Sunday morning at church, I was feeling a little better, even though even General Superintendent George O. Wood was even telling me to trust God from his customary spot in the Pentecostal Evangel. The sermon was boring and I quickly lost interest, leading me to do some tweeting, Facebooking, and even e-mailing my parents during the sermon. However, by the end of the sermon I was getting kicked in the stomach by the rabbit trail the pastor went on, reminding me blow-by-blow of the fact I'm in this situation, and the fact that I was lucky to even be in the situation because people like me don't get a lot of shots at success like I did, which made me feel even worse because it made me think that this was all my doing.

Just great. This fiery crash that I'm experiencing is all my fault. It figures.

Even as I type this, I'm in the melancholic dumps. The problems that would have been solved by a modest outcome are back worse than before, cynicism stalks me like a leopard its prey, and worst of all in all of this I can't keep my grip on the fact that I know how to get out of this and the knowledge that it's all going to end OK because I just can't trust God, no matter how hard I'm trying. As Margaret of Single and Sane pointed out in her comment on my post, I feel just like the father of the Demoniac in Mark 9 when he told Jesus how he believed, but really needed help because of his unbelief. I do believe God has what's best for me, but I can't keep a grip on that belief.

Right there lies the rub. Faith and trust have always been issues for me because I live in a world of discrete events and rational analysis, yet completely and totally believe in the spiritual and miraculous. When it comes down to brass tacks, I lean toward the latter because the rational side of me has seen and digested enough to give up trying to rationalize those things and just believe. The problem is getting down to the brass tacks, of course.

As I've stated before, I have a real problem with solving problems. I see problems, think them through, find the best solution, and execute said solution. Everyone slaps me on the back for a job well done, but now I'm in a position that I'm so good at solving problems that I'm in a situation where I'm dying to solve this problem is the best way possible, but I can't do it because (1) it involves someone not named Loren to get on board to make it really work, and (2) God is the only One who can solve this problem. Because of this tug-of-war between wanting to solve a problem and realizing that I can't solve the problem, I'm having a real problem with believing that God can do it, even though He's provided me with plenty of rational and logical information for me to place my trust in Him.

It all came to a head tonight as I was typing this, as I decided to fire up the playlist from Relient K's 2004 album Mmhmm because it was a real life ring for me when I was really feeling down and out around the time it came out. It really didn't take long until I was a blubbering wreck because the first song spat out was When I go Down, and the opening verse goes as follows:

I'll tell you flat out
it hurts so much to think of this
so from my thoughts I will exclude
this very thing that
I hate more than everything is
the way I'm powerless
to dictate my own moods

If that isn't a direct statement about my current situation, then I don't know if one could ever be created. By the end, I was reminded once again that perhaps the only way we can trust is if we're broken and smashed to the point where we have nothing left to do but trust:

When I go down
I lift my eyes up to You
I won't look very far
'cause You'll be there
with open arms
to lift me up again

I surely hope I've hit bottom. I'm ready to trust. It might not be a lot of trust, and it might not be a very strong trust, but it's all I've got, and if there's one thing my rational mind knows, God doesn't need much of anything to make things great. That's why He's in the mustard seed business.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go and compose myself (again).

Until next time.


Single and Sane said...

"By the end, I was reminded once again that perhaps the only way we can trust is if we're broken and smashed to the point where we have nothing left to do but trust..."

That's absolutely true. It's so much easier when we get to the other side of a bad situation and are looking back at how we've come through. The "getting through" part is scary and it's hard, but it's all worth it because it gets us that much closer to becoming the person God created each of us to be.

Loren C. Klein said...

That's so true, but I'm tired of having to fight tooth and nail for every little thing in my life. Now, that isn't to say what I'm after here isn't a little thing (More like the second-biggest thing on my life's checklist... and it's needed before I start working on the final thing on the checklist. *ahem*), so in some ways I'm content that it's time for God to finish off what He's been working on for me to get ready for this, but at the same time, it really hurt that I got a brief glimpse of what I was looking for, for the door to get slammed in my face and I fall on my back.

I would say I'll laugh about it when it's over, but I never smile when I'm on the other side; instead I breathe a sigh of relief that I somehow got through it.

Single and Sane said...

Sometimes the sigh of relief is all that's needed.

Single and Sane said...

Let me clarify that...I didn't mean to imply that God brings us through bad times just so we can breathe a sigh of relief, but He doesn't do it so we can look back and laugh either (although it's a pleasant bonus when that happens).

But the sigh of relief can bring us a certain amount of satisfaction once we've reached the other side of the tough times.