Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Getting Up and Going On

I could make excuses, and some of them sound and legitimate, for not keeping up with this blog. The past several months have been extremely stressful for family reasons. The situation with access to my elderly father deteriorates, and there is nothing we can do legally -- my brother manages to keep just one inch above the law on this. The marriage teeters on the edge of nothingness and many days I just feel like giving up. Freelance work has come to a standstill and my income is half what it was last year, which wasn't any great shakes then.

Lo, the many times I've been lying awake at night feeling completely overwhelmed by the problems, and feeling I can't find a way out of this. I start dragging up things from childhood, and mistakes I made, and dwell in a constant whirlwind of self-doubt, self-recrimination, and sense of hopelessness.

Payer is the only thing that drags me out of it. And that usually prompts me toward thanksgiving: how my children thrive, with Aidan reaching new levels of relationship with God, and Anna dealing with anxiety and perfectionism; and also to view how blessed I am compared to about 97% of the population.

I try to remember what Harriet Tubman always said to herself: "Just keep on goin', Harriet, keep on goin'." And she did it with Christian love.

And then today's cqod (Christian quotation of the day) came to my inbox and knocked all that sheer determination on its head:

To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do-- to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst--is by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your
life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own.
... Frederick Buechner (b. 1926), The Sacred Journey, San
Fransisco: Harper & Row, 1982, p. 46

Yes, we've been given a brain to think through things, a will to carry out what we think is right, and even a heart to temper it all with compassion. But this quote talks about obedience, I think -- that we must wait on the Lord and remain open for Him to do His work. I have failed to obey this in my quest to fix problems.