I am tired. I am very, very tired. I am not tired in the I-stayed-up-too-late-last-night-and-will-feel-better-after-my-second-cup-of-coffee tired. I am soul weary tired. I am tired like I could sleep for 3 days and 3 nights, or below deck during a storm. I am tired.
It is not a discouraged or depressed tired necessarily. I certainly have been discouraged and depressed at times, but this isn't exactly one of those times. There are too many good things happening to be discouraged. Dicken's cliche about best and worst times suffices. Church stuff is good and getting better. Opportunities loom at work. I have been maximizing well my time with my kids. I really, really like my wife.
But ominous music plays in my head all the time. It reminds me that the house in Michigan has not yet sold. It reminds me that we have overstayed our welcome at the Hollyhock House. It reminds me that we need a more permament place to stay. It reminds me that my hopes about jobs could fall through. It reminds me that I could wake up from the Vintage dream. And it reminds me that I am really powerless to make a difference in any of these situations.
There have been times in recent months that I have felt emasculated, unable to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done for my family. Everything in me has wanted to make something happen. But I haven't been able to. And maybe I am not supposed to.
And that is why I have kept coming back to God. I have been praying so much more intently, consistently, and honestly lately. But nothing has changed. Part of me thought that my praying would make a difference and part of me feels even more emasculated because it hasn't. But another part of me knows that "making a difference" might not be the point of prayer. The point of prayer is relationship, and relationships take honesty and openness.
So this morning I was driving to school and pulled out Rich Mullins' incomperable Jesus Demos. The lyrics of Hard to Get say it more eloquently than I can. So, in the grand blogger tradition of posting lyrics instead of thoughts, here they are.
You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
Who are afraid of being left by those we love
And who get hardened by the hurt
Do you remember when You lived down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread
Did You forget about us after You had flown away
Well I memorized every word You said
Still I'm so scared, I'm holding my breath
While You're up there just playing hard to get
You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
We have a love that's not as patient as Yours was
Still we do love now and then
Did You ever know loneliness
Did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat
Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You're up there just playing hard to get?
And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained
And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this, somehow
All I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can't see what's ahead
And we can not get free of what we've left behind
I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret
I can't see how You're leading me unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led
And so You've been here all along I guess
It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get