Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Control and Answers

My heart did a quiet cartwheel within my chest.

I like that sentence.  And I miss that feeling.

In the past few minutes, I think I've realized that one of the things I like most about writing, beyond playing with words and meeting new characters and figuring out fresh and raw ways to say things, is control.  I mean, I never want to be a writer who strips all liberty from characters; they are free to make their own decisions, which are sometimes quite surprising to me (don't even get me started on that one). 

But, even when they are in the middle of an argment or something huge is coming down the road to eat them or whatever is happening, I know these people.  Their minds make sense (as much as anyone's mind can), and being able to see inside their brains, hear their voices as they scream out their very serious opinions that sometimes conflict with one another, is enlightening.  I love to see how they dance around each other, learning about their differences, learning what they will and won't compromise, learning, learning, learning.  It's a fascinating business.

But it makes living in a world of reality frustrating.  I can't see into your mind.  I don't know your whole past, family situation, emotional status, immediate struggles.  I only have me; my own understanding, my own stability in that moment.  But I want to understand you just as entirely deeply as I understand (or think I understand) those characters. 

But life doesn't work that way.

Plainly, I am a control freak.  I try to hide it as craftily as I can, behind walls of indecisiveness and silence and patience (ha!), but not having control over what is going on is one of the most frustratng things I have ever encountered.

Why is your sense of time so different from mine?  Why do our priorities vary so much?  Why isn't this funny to you?  Why are you spending your life doing that?  How can you be so insensitive about that?  And so on.

People are confusing.  I want to split open their minds and disect what makes us all do the crazy things we do.  I want answers to questions that go unanswered.  And will remain unanswerable.

This has been my struggle over sleepless, tear-saturated nights sitting cross-legged on my mattress with all the blankets shoved to the floor.  What the hell am I doing?  Where am I going?  Where do You want me to go?  What if I make these carefully formulated plans and then they changed because they aren't Your will and my heart is broken?  I know what will happen will be greater than I can ever imagine, but can You please give me one tiny clue so I don't start going in the complete wrong direction?  Please?

And the elusive answer to every question circling and spiraling in my mind arrived in the form of a half sheet of cardstock in my Christmas stocking while sitting in the blue chair in Grandpa's living room on Boxing Day.  The family verse for the year 2010 is this:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  -Psalm 119:105

Simply, God gives us enough to live right now.  And that's all that's promised.  This verse is like the saying about how your headlights only light a hundred feet in front of you, but you can drive home the entire way like that.

And while this answer isn't the one I want, not a solution to everything I'm questioning handed to me easily on a platter, it is the answer I need.  A reminder that God is here for us now, giving us the strength and understanding we need for each step as it is being taken.  We aren't programmed to understand more than that; that's why He is God and we are not.  And if I try very hard to focus my attentions and worries and strivings for answers and the here and now, and the path being lit for me by Him, I can live more intentionally.

I'm sorry if I try to control you.  I'm just trying to understand.

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOODNESS. I hear you; I actually wrote about something similar last night. :)