Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grounded

Coming to you live from Lansing, with a total case of airport blues. 'Tis a sad, sad day when a 9AM flight turns into an 11:40 AM flight which turns into a cancelled flight, which turns into a 3:30PM flight, which turns into a 6PM flight, which evidently turns back into a 3:30PM flight, which turns into a frazzled twenty year old woman in the Lansing airport pub, sitting fifteen feet yet remaining nine months away from legally tackling that enticing bottle of Smirnoff. Give me Chicago or give me vodka!

But I digress. Whatever lessons remain to be learned from this day, consider them learned. Whether the lesson is to never fly out of Lansing in January, because when your flight gets canceled, you will be left with zero options; or maybe it's the lesson that I have absolutely no control, or that I am incredibly too spiritually selfish...I don't know. In my fit of over-analysis I decided that today is an opportunity for a forced-surrender. The opportunity to say "Whatever, God, you probably didn't want me on that flight anyway...but please? Because I'm going someplace good. Doing something that I love. So...what's the deal?"

I've been reading in Job, after my failed and angry attempt at reading 1 Timothy. Why? Because Job is a figure in history that had it all...for a hot second. He was a guy that God literally allowed to be attacked in every way, shape, and form. I'm not finished with the whole book yet, but the long and short of the story goes something like this craziness: Satan got bored one day, and God showed Job to him. He showed Job off because of Job's solid faith, his intervention into the lives of his children, his wealth, his renown, his well-earned gain. But then, God does something that I, in my humanistic and minuscule wisdom, find very strange and a little (ok, a lot) frightening. God actually tells Satan to have at him, to take everything away from him, to send thieves and robbers to his livestock and assets, to cause an earthquake to flatten his children under the pathetic remains of his home, to make his life a miserable, rotten hell...but spare his life. Now, under ordinary circumstances, sparing somebody's life seems like a merciful thing, but in this case? Just the opposite. Job responds to this with complete hysteria. He curses the day that he left the womb and laments the fact that he had not been taken straight to the grave as an infant. He begs to plead his case with God, because he sees himself as good and righteous. However, his friends don't think so. They tell him that he is inferior to how he views himself, and that God is stronger and more powerful than anything that Job could comprehend, and that this plague was not from the hands of God himself, but from the other direction. Job, frustrated, disagrees and gets defensive, saying that he knows of God just as well as his friends do, that he is good and blameless, and basically scorns his friends for being lousy at comforting.

Rough, huh?

So in the past few weeks during which I've felt a little (ok, a lot) like Job, but to a much lesser extent, I can't help but read the story and find my exact thoughts written down; thoughts that have been written down for thousands of years and still enter my head in 2011. See, Job's friends are telling him exactly what he should probably do, but in Job's anguish he can't see the benefit. In my life, I've been told over and over who I may become and what I am to do about it, but it seems like an impossible feat. But really? These are pretty simple things to do. Internal attacks are a strange thing. Basically what happens is this: you start to question your own thoughts, you start to question thoughts that are not your own. You question reality. You doubt your maturity, and forget about discernment...that was never there in the first place. Things startle and scare you. You're pretty sure you've gone crazy, but you know that you're fine, really. And you want to be left alone...either left alone or comforted, but not talked at. Not talked at or lectured or judged...but like Job, even comfort feels like a judgmental lecture. Walls go up, isolation looks delicious, and you get hunted. Then dragged away, useless.

So, what do I do? I'm not sure. Step one: trust that I'll get out of this terminal in one way or another, safely. Step two: trust that I'll get out of this turmoil in one way or another, safely. Step three: see what happened to Job...and see what happens to me.

I love you people.

Delicious.