My heart runs far, far from where You intended… come after me… please…
Where is it? Where did I put it? Did it fall out someplace? Did I leave it somewhere? I do NOT have time for this…
Late for work, I am tossing the clothes on my floor in search of a pearl earring I can’t find. I shake out my sheets. Nothing.
Still no earring, I survey my room and duck out. It now looks like a bomb went off in there. Shut the door. I’ll just leave without it.
And it’s the Peace He just gave me yesterday that I’m trying to retrieve.
Leaving for work, I am still rehearsing last night’s mess. It’s the newest sliver under my skin. It’s a rough plank I’ve been carrying lately. Pinching at the wound, I try to remove it myself (while driving). Morning traffic is hardly the sterile environment where you want to be working on your own wounds. Each Prius that cuts me off or cruises slowly in the left lane rubs a little bit of dirt into what’s already sore.
I want vindication.
I want relief.
I want everyone on This Road to be going as fast as I’d like them to, with the same urgency I have, paying the kind of attention I’m sure I am.
I want to be in the carpool lane, damn it.
It’s all smooth sailing in the carpool lane, with a person next to you.
I want someone next to me who’s going the same place I am (or close enough, anyway), who’s riding with me, maybe even driving most days of the week. I want to talk and laugh and not care about the other people on the road because the company in my own car so good.
I want to turn to that other person in the car and show him the inflamed splinter, explain how I got it, and have him agree that it’s terrible and make a plan to remove it without saying “I told you so.”
On some level I know that riding in the carpool lane and having someone next to me won’t bring the comfort or relief I seek. But I go there anyway.
If my heart is running far from where it should be, it’s wearing Fear and Envy on its feet.
In this season of transition, I’m afraid things will never change. And I’m afraid everything will.
I’m afraid of what is next; I’m afraid that this is it– like I’m watching a fireworks show, and, with everyone else, I’m convinced that any rocket in a pair is the signal for the finale. You spend the whole spectacular show convinced it’s just about over. Is there any other way to watch a fireworks show? Why is it that my heart chases the end, knowing it won’t be happy when it gets there?
And if this is the finale, then I feel robbed. I wanted more. And I see everyone else has it. My heart demands of God, “when will it be my turn?”, the question that comes from wearing terrible shoes and reading a stolen watch.
My heart thinks the line between waiting and abandonment is a lot finer than it really is. Laced up in fear and envy shoes, it leaps over what is really a great divide. It lands on the other side, where questions of “when”–questions that still reveal a little faith– turn into bitter questions of “Why didn’t you..” Where my heart forgets that it’s the one who stole the watch and leapt in the first place.
Where it rails against God for leaving it in this scorched land, forgetting whose idea it was to slash and burn the terrain.
This is the place where deer and souls pant for water.
I remember that running far is for both the wayward and the Pilgrim, so I return to the Journey.
I am at once at home and on my way when I pray,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.