Monday, November 26, 2007

the furniture in my head

Do you ever feel like things are unclear? You try to think things through and make good decisions, but there are too many variables, or the resources do not match the needs, or the timing seems wrong or for some reason, you just have no clue what to do next or even worse, no idea what's happening right now! You ask questions, you pray, you research, you get advice from others, you even explore a few avenues but nothing has a "rightness" about it. So you sit there, stuck, in a holding pattern, waiting for the fog to clear, and until it does, hoping that a foghorn sounds or a lighthouse pierces the mist to give you some bearings or at least prevent you from doing something stupid.

My world has been quite fuzzy in the past few years, but beginning a few weeks ago, things have been getting clearer and clearer. I have to attribute it to 3 things:
1. being able to recognise that my perspective is skewed and not in line with truth and determining to do something about it;
2. asking people to pray for me and I don't mean just the one-minute prayer for God to bless me, but profound, sometimes lengthy, and even intrusive petitioning and repentance that touches the deepest parts of my soul, which is where the uncertainty and confusion lie;
3. surrendering all those patterns of behaviour and thought and coping that I believed were serving me well in varying degrees, but had become comfortable and to be honest, defense mechanisms of sorts.

These patterns of skewed thinking that we let ourselves fall into are like having the couch smack in the middle of the hallway because that's were you plunked it down when you got it. You just get used to walking around it every day and pretty soon, you believe this roundabout and convoluted way of functioning is normal and perfectly acceptable. Until an interior designer comes in and exclaims at the disorder and chaos of it all. Really? I thought we were coping pretty well! And then you have a decision to make. Either you shrug off the comments of the designer as interesting but not all that urgent or relevant, or you raise your hands in surrender and let him at your furniture. Pick the latter, trust me. As he starts to push and pull and rearrange, you might find your hands grasping some favourite chair because you like it just there, but the best thing you can do is pry your fingers off, one by one if you have to, and just stand back.

I am amazed at the clarity that comes with letting God reorganise my thoughts and way of thinking. Decisions, which have been a bit of a challenge for much of my life, have never been this quick or easy. I can be in a conversation and know exactly what advice or comment or question to insert to point things in the right direction. To a great extent, I have stopped second guessing myself (which certainly wastes a lot of time) and can pursue a course of action, readjusting as necessary as I go. Don't get me wrong, there is still much in my life that challenges me, especially some big changes that I know need to happen and will require some major hand-raising (as opposed to grabbing onto the old way of doing things - it worked in the past, didn't it?...never a good reason) as the couches and tables fly past me and the demolishing hammer comes at some walls.

Yes, I am still working at unclenching the last fingers from my expectations of how things should work out, taking my hands off the specific ways I prefer to see things done, and dropping that never ending list of all the ways I want God to make my life good and acceptable to me. These are all petty things, believe me, and not worth strapping yourself to. Instead, attach yourself to the creator and designer and let the house function as it was meant to and come alive!

This is our living room on moving day, just over 2 years ago.

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