When I finally quit reading, I lay in bed and listened to the pouring rain on the roof and in our backyard forest. I love that sound. I thought about my wife, I thought about our kids, I thought about the future, and I thought about the present. I prayed. I prayed for my wife, I prayed for our kids, and I listened.
Actually, it is redundant for me to say I prayed and I listened. For me, prayer isn’t just talking, it is also listening. I learned a long time ago that prayer is a conversation and that I can’t do all the talking. In fact, my God has much to say to me and I would be wise to stop asking for so much and start listening more. In fact, this is what I do.
Someone once told me that I tell myself too many stories. I think Billy Joel said it best when he said, “Maybe you think too much.” Another called me neurotic. I call it introspection, reflection, and intuition. But I will admit, it is often difficult to separate destructive self-talk from prayerful, intuitive meditation. Last night was one of those nights.
So, last night, as I listened to the rain, I prayed
Woundedness and recovery are difficult and confusing. Whether recovering from a broken limb, ego, or life – we are often left to ask “Why?” As you know, I’ve been doing a lot of that over the past 5 years. Why? Why? Why? But as the answers and accompanying peace began to wash over me, I’m still left with the resulting scars. We are damaged. My self worth, my family’s health, our financial situation, my health, and much more. We are wounded and scarred. We are tired of this process. As I told a friend the other day, “I’m done with the whole wilderness experience. I’d just like to arrive at the Promised Land and recuperate for awhile.“
So, last night, as I listened to the rain, I prayed. I prayed for my children. I prayed for my wife. I prayed seeking purpose and directions. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for healing and help. Yeah, that’s right – I just asked for pure, unadulterated help. I can’t do this anymore. I’m exhausted. Like many times before, I just sought the peace that comes from surrender.
I just listened.
I’m not fighting God. But I do fight myself. Like I said above, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between self-talk and heavenly wisdom. So, at those times, I just let go and surrender – I quit trying to figure it out on my own. I just listened.
God keeps trying to tell me that I am His child. He tells me I am free. He tells me that He loves me more than I love myself. He tells me that He will never abandon me. But somehow, that doesn’t translate to contentment, joy, or peace in my heart. I know this stuff intellectually, but I still lack the vitality that should accompany these truths.
They say that admitting the problem is the first step. But actually, if you’re a 12-stepper, this isn’t the entire first step. The first step is surrender – admitting that I can’t fix “this” on my own. Whatever “this” is. It could be alcohol, it could be pornography, it could be depression, it could be fear, it could be financial, it could be sleep deprivation. Of course I wasn’t thinking about these first steps as I listened to the rainfall last night. I was just surrendering to the insanity of the past five years and the accompanying pain of recovery.
That’s when it hit me. That’s when it became clear. This is when I realized the root of the problem.
(to be continued)