Tuesday, February 01, 2011

To Want What you Cannot Have

Things fall.
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My daughter broke three cups and a bowl yesterday. I was irritated; wondered if it was ironic or just pathetic that all of her glass-breaking made me want to smash one.
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In all honesty, I do not even care about the cups. I could have given her a plastic one. It was there before the first one dropped. And then I told myself it was the sweeping; while being occupied with the shards, turning to find that they had dumped out the flour. Unraveled the toilet paper. Drawn on the wall. Cut open a pillow. Every mess created a dozen more. When it rains, it pours.
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Rain falls from the clouds because the earth has mass, and mass somehow draws mass to itself. I don't understand that. Newton is credited with a great discovery because he stated the obvious: gravity exists. He didn't explain why it happens, only that it does.
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Empty space draws matter to it. So that which has mass and that which has none do the same thing.
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I wonder what God was thinking when he invented this universe, when he decided that this is the way that things will be. Liquid turning into vapor releases heat. Electricity can produce magnetic fields. E=mc squared and U=mgh and E=1/2mv^2+U.
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Nearly every school has a classroom with a poster of Garfield telling kids that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. But how do you know when to stop? When is the answer simply "It's a property"?
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This week, I felt thick with sin. It was at the surface, wild and strong. I thought bitter thoughts; that to depend on God for strength is to be disappointed. I do not get what I want so I sin. Like my kids having a tantrum, only colder, more controlled. I am miserable in my sinfulness, so I seek relief in sin. It makes no sense. The reaction is too fast to be thought*.
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What does he think of me, as a human? Is he angry? Does he pity me? Does he nod and say yes, I understand?
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If being a human means walking with a beast, should I hate my humanity? Or is it nothing more than a property of being stuck between glory and hell? Can I hate my sin without hating the struggle against it?
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Will I ever boast of my weakness?* Or will I always turn from it in anguish and sweep it up with the broken glass when you knock at the door?



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*I remember wondering why quitting drinking is not merely an act of not bending the elbow. Can a person not control their arm, I wondered? Is it not that simple? And that day, I got into some sort of poisonous weed and every time I scratched the itch, it spread further. I literally could not stop scratching, and I watched myself bending an elbow I told to stay straight, my brain firing "move move move" thirty times faster than I could tell it "stop." God mocked me with a weed. I am grateful for that.
*2 Corinthians 12:1-10

6 comments:

You can call me B.... said...

so true. especially loved the final note at the end about the true. perfectly said. you say what i think!

rolli said...

<3 Well said. May I be forewarned by your experience (oh me oh my!). A sudden storm after quite a few sunny days in a row always finds me at a loss to remember what an umbrella even is, let alone how to use one....or where I put it last...

The Goodfellas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Goodfellas said...

Normally, when everything goes back to be "right with the world", I try to hold on to that and pin it down. But I do that because I'm embarrassed of my sinfulness; I try to pretend it doesn't exist. But I want more than that. I want to see his light shine bright not because the darkness is dim but because he shines like the sun.

rolli said...

I stand corrected--whether or not you meant to correct: Truth is always Truth; beyond being corrective, it's simply a ruler, right? And when you notice something isn't right you finally realize the ruler was always there and something's slightly off course because it's not parallel to the ruler. Your comment was with the ruler...

You just reminded me that His light is always shining--and is always parting the clouds. So maybe if it's raining, rather than looking for an umbrella I should be wondering how I moved into the rain.

I get caught up in metaphors--they make the world simple for me; what I mean is I want to remember every moment, and in His consistency, God does not change from an umbrella in rain to sunshine on a problem-free day, He is always there shining like the sun, as you said. Sometimes the clouds loom so close the slightest movement puts me out in the rain so thick I can't (or think I can't) remember how to get back.

But He is always there; He always shines like the sun, the movement into light is never long, but fast as lighting (pardon the unintended pun) and humbling. Psalm 19...for some reason.

The Goodfellas said...

i liked your umbrella metaphor (but i like your new one too.) i want to go look up psalm 19 now. <3