Why Ask Why?

Long-journey

Have you ever felt off in left field?  Where your thoughts, intentions and experiences just feel off kilter?  I’ve just come out of a place like this.  I have these times every once in a while.  I can’t really explain why, it just happens.  Have you ever experienced a season in your life like this?  It’s like driving down a long, straight road without the scenery changing.  It’s like going outside to smell the roses, but your sniffer’s off.  It’s like bbqing a nice, fat steak and your taste buds aren’t working.  Kinda like that.

It’s times like these that I feel distant or disconnected from God.  I usually will start to panic to some extent and I over-analyze my relationship with Him.  I start to over-analyze my relationship with others.  I start to over-analyze myself.  Guilt and condemnation usually creep in next.  I start to question what I believe.  I begin to criticize myself for not being super joyful all the time.  I blame myself for letting my relationship with my Creator become dull and grey.  I usually become my worst enemy.

Although the above has been a typical pattern for me, I’m learning to fight it.  To break the cycle that has controlled my life for too long.  I’m learning to absorb these times.  To search for meaning during these times.  To become a big boy during these times.  To lean on God.

I read an awesome article by a guy named Al Andrews the other day, talking about the questions that we ask during difficult times.  He states:

“I’d like to suggest a prayer that the Benedictine monks pray during times they call “Desolation.”  Desolation is when things don’t work – when life, relationships, God – all seem disconnected at best.  When that happens, our natural prayers are usually variations of the word “Why?”  Why?  Why me?  Why this?  Why this now?  Why God?”

“The Benedictines suggest a different question. They ask us to pray this simple prayer, “God, what do you have for me here?”  Do you notice the difference?  While honest, the why questions presume we are entitled to something and the current problem has no place in our life or the universe.  “What do you have for me here?” presumes that there is a larger story told by a storyteller who loves us and is far more creative in his telling than I would ever be.”

This is genius to me.  It struck me as simply profound.  If I can hold onto the view that there is a lesson to be learned in every situation, I’ve won.  It’s not about me, it’s about God shining through me.  I’m not the potter, I’m the clay.  It’s His story to tell.  I’m just here, hanging with God, riding the waves of life.  Wherever they take me, I’m standing tall, on my board, God as the wind.

So what DOES God have for me right now, in my current circumstances?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  Maybe that’s the way it should be sometimes.

Have you ever been stuck in a rut?  How did you get out of it?

God Bless,

Paul

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