This school year has started with a bang! Though I am only taking 2 courses at the Master's level and have a small part-time job, some extra things have come up this month that have served to overwhelm me a bit. And for some reason I seem to be extra prone to overwhelmedness right now.
In the next 2-3 weeks I also have to plan and organise a church retreat, apply for a major government award which means that I have to write a very detailed research proposal (something most people don't start to think about until later into their first year and something I have never done before!!!), and manage the logistics of a move for our church meeting space. Today, I have an occupancy permit application to write, I hope to begin on that research proposal, and there are readings for next week and a class presentation on Monday. Plus, I promised to get together with some good people today, which is very important for my sanity. And we haven't even talked about cleaning bathrooms or buying groceries yet! You see how my mind starts to tally up the list and become anxious?
Last night we were talking about the kind of questions that we ask God. I have been learning that I don't ask the best questions which is why I often don't feel like I am getting a lot of answers. I ask things like: how is this all going to be possible? what will my life look like next year? why is that person treating me like that? why don't you take away all my fears? why isn't that person healed? and does anything ever really change? Bad questions. Questions that sound more like I am the one in charge and someone needs to give me some decent explanations.
In truth, I really don't want or need to know the answers to most of these questions. What I really want to know, deep down in my heart, is simply this: do you love me? are you with me? do I need to worry about this? When I ask those questions, the answers are always: Yes, yes, and no.
All the other details become peripheral at that point, because when I am in love, it doesn't really matter what I am doing at each moment. That silly "I am loved" grin sits on my face in all circumstances. It just matters that someone thinks I am special. When I have a friend that I can count on to walk with me through the most difficult and challenging tasks and provide support, encouragement, and wisdom, I have no doubt that these things will get done in a good and timely way and be characterised with spurts of joy. When someone much more powerful than me says he is taking care of it, I really don't have to worry about how everything will work out. I just have to stick close to him and follow his lead.
I read the story of the woman at the well in John 4 today. She asks Jesus a lot of questions, and I love his response to her first query: If you knew who I was, you would be asking me something else.
May I know who HE is and may my questions always reflect that.
This is the canal in Stratford-upon-Avon, with signs telling me where it leads and how far away the places are.