Friday, June 24, 2016

When It's Meaningless || of single-handedly trying to change the world


"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world" (C. S. Lewis). 
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The light brown, leathered seats of the (endearingly termed) fuel efficiently "leaf-eating"car supported my weight as the wheels turned along the road, the road leading straight to the city: the jewel of the midwest.

"We're gonna play the question game." The words exited my mouth as a coy smile appeared on my lips. I was anticipating her response.

"Uhm, what is that?" Her skepticism came as no surprise.

We were heading to five donut shops because... life.

"At each stop, one person will ask a question. The other has to answer. The question can be about anything; it just can't be dumb. It has to be good. Like, it has to be thought-provoking and deep..."

That sounds like a heck of a lot of pressure, but really, it wasn't. We knew we're on chill ground with each other, and insecurities about producing philosophical musings was unfounded. Just ask a question. Simple.

What did we ask? Think along the lines of "what would your life look like if you didn't have fear?" "what motivates people?" and "are you happy right now? what would it take for you to live with a little more happiness today?"

The sweetness of the creamy donuts contrasted the (sometimes) sour thoughts and honest words that such questions brought to light. But the conversations were sweet, so sweet.

By the end of the donut escapade, we'd moved onto park hopping, riverfront walking, bridge exploring, fountain water-testing, beach arriving, and museum pursuing. The questions hadn't stopped when the donuts did, though, and our conversations were dappled with observations of the awkward photography situation to our left and the depths of humanity's plight all around.

By the time we returned to our parking garage and (semi-complicatedly) located the pay machine and exited the building, much clarity had come.

But it wasn't the yay-I-can-now-live-a-fearless-happy-life type of clarity. It was the oh-my-I-am-a-fearfilled-dissatisfied-with-everything-whimp kind of clarity.

But this meant our trip's last hour and forty minutes in that leaf-eating car were some of the most direct words I've been able to articulate in a long while.

She'd asked before we'd entered what was the one thing I was living for right now, the one thing I'm searching for. I'd responded with one word: meaning.

"I'm searching for meaning, for a meaningful life. A full life."

Because that was it. I've been having so many side symptoms appear in my life for the last year. The fact I lost thirty pounds and some of my sanity along with it. The fact my relationships with my family were so much more... non-existent than I want because of my disengagement. The fact that I try to figure absolutely every decision out to this illusive "best." The fact that each decision of which shirt which words which look which action seems incredibly (incredibly incredibly incredibly incredibly) momentous. 

"Are you content?" Her words came to me, and I laughed (bitterly).

"Content? The question shouldn't be 'am I content?' it should be 'when are you not discontent?'"

Because the truth is, I've developed this habit of seeing through everything. Seeing how this affects that affects this affects life affects the reality that I am never satisfied because so incredibly much seems meaningless and nothing ever seems like enough.

Because if I really believed in Jesus, wouldn't that affect more of the way I lived? If I truly grasped that I'd been given access to the Holy Spirit Himself and ever spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, shouldn't I be doing more (John 14:26; Ephesians 1:3)? 

I have this chronic illusion that I need to single handedly change the world [and do this for Jesus], and (uhm) that underlying belief can really screw up your brain.

"No, I'm not content. Life seems meaningless, and it's incredibly monstrous to try and figure out where the meaning should be for you and how to get yourself there. I am so, so tired. I'm exhausted. I don't want to think anymore, and I don't get enjoyment from basically anything. There's almost always a flaw. And I don't feel like I have the energy to try anymore."

And that folks, is just half of the conversation. The other half is when she hit me back with hard truths, and I was faced with the hard action of having to admit them and speak more of how true they really are (and how many of them are already buried deep within me, but I've resisted digging them out).

But I'm not ready to write about that yet. I'm still very much grappling, and right now the thought of writing them sounds like spewing cliche after cliche after cliche onto the screen, and I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that to you.

I need to let them sink into my heart first. I need to let them become so much apart of me that I no longer need to write down my fleeting thoughts on this sticky note that paper that pages document that phone notes. I need them to be so much apart of me that I don't have to remember to remember them.

So until then, this post remains half finished. Because I'm not going to speak until I am speaking from conviction and heart-knowing passion. (Sorry for the delay; I'm learning life is [actually] a process..).

But, I would like prayer. Please, join me in seeking our Abba.

For He is the truth we need.
© 2016 Deborah Hope Shining

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I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?

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