questions and fatigue

"...continue to work out your salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." Phillipians 2:12-13

This verse makes me think about the hard things Jesus said to his followers like, "I did not come to bring peace but a sword." (Matthew 10:34) I might not understand what that means exactly, but maybe I am to work through it with fear and trembling. I take fear and trembling to mean a deep form of humility and a reverent awe of the vastness of who God is. I think it means to trust that God is bigger and that He can see things I cannot and He knows things my mind cannot comprehend. Maybe I can attempt to rest in this truth, that God is good and I can trust Him. I can trust Him not only for the overall good, but for my personal good as well. This verse also encourages me that Paul (the author of Phillipians) is writing to people who had the same questions I have, even hundreds of years ago. So...

"I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of me....forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus." (Phillipians 3:12b, 13b, 14)

There are just so many questions for me. But I do love God. There is NO question in my mind that He exists and that He is the creator of this world. All honest evidence points to Him. And I cannot then, help but follow that belief that this creator God is good. So good- the mountains, the sunsets, the stars, the ocean, waterfalls, flowers- they are good. Really, really good. That being said, I think it seems apparent that God wants us to see Him. The Bible says, "the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth... He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else... He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that we would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him- though really, He is not far from anyone of us. for in Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 18:24-28) He wants us. He wants me. I feel so tired. But I have learned in the past that fatigue comes when I am empty. And if I am empty it is because I am not connected to my life-source, my nourishment, my heart's home. Him.

"I seek in myself the things I meant to say and lo! the wells are dry. Then, seeing me empty, You forsake the Listener's role and thru my dead lips breathe into utterance awake the thoughts I never knew." -C.S. Lewis

this really did happen

In 1996, Marion High School added the 8th grade class to the high school building. I was in 8th grade that year. So, I was basically entering high school at age 13. And to my horror, I had to ride the bus there.
So. First day of school, there I am standing at the bus stop, with 3rd graders, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The bus finally shows up and I get on board, only to join more 3rd graders and their lunch boxes on our journey to the first day of school. As I am contemplating what will happen next, it dawns on me that since the bus will be arriving late, no one will be there to see me getting off the bus! This is great! (As if anyone cared or would even notice that I was riding the bus.) By the time I get to school I have calmed down a little (a little) only to discover, as I walk faster and faster, that I cannot find my classroom. Room 11. Room 11. Room 11! Where is room 11?!!!!! I come around a corner only to see Mr. Singer. Now, Mr. Singer was a not-very-nice middle school teacher (the kind who seems annoyed that there are actually children in his classroom) who has magically arrived at the high school at this exact moment to make me feel like an idiot in my time of need. So I ask him, "Do you know where room 11 is?" To my recollection, he doesn't even say a word, nor turn his head, but jerks his thumb to the door to his immediate left, just feet from where I am standing. Of course. Of course I would be standing right in front of the room when I ask a mean teacher to please help me. Sigh. Ok. There it is. But then.
Just as I am about to open the door, an announcement comes over the loud speaker,

"Attention teachers: Please admit the bus students. They will be arriving late."
Ta- da! My grand entrance. Hello upperclassmen! I am a bus student!

I open the door. To my left, are my fellow eighth graders, their eyes kind of bulgy and blinking, too concerned with their own inner turmoil of the terrifying morning to even notice me. To my right are upperclassmen at tables all looking very directly at me, interested, in an unattached sort of way. At this point, the third graders on the bus seemed awfully appealing. I let the door slide closed behind me. I gulp. (Ok, I am assuming I gulped. I don't actually remember gulping.) I begin the slow walk to find a seat, eyes moving quickly, scanning the aisles, heart beating so slow I'm not sure it is going to continue and finally find an empty seat. Amazingly, it is between two friends. I sit. I think I hear angels singing as my rear touches the magnificent pine seat.

The class I am in is actually a study hall, thus explaining why there are both 8th graders and upperclassmen in the same room. There really is nothing to do the first day, since no one has school work, so I think we basically just sat there. (I don't remember.) Well, at some point I decide to redo my hair which has kind of fallen down out of the clip it is in. I take out the clip, set it on my desk and begin to re-twist my hair. Now, before I go on, let me explain something. The desk I was sitting in was actually one of those chairs that has an arm with a little table that can swivel up to make a desk or down to make just a chair. A flimsy little thing. Well, I knock my hair clip off of the desk. I reach for it. But not with just one hand. With both hands. I strain. I feel the tipping. I see the ground growing closer. I feel the dirty, hard carpet scrape my ear.

I have flipped my desk on top of myself.

And I have managed to pin both of my arms beneath the desk with all of my weight on top. A book slides down the surface of the desk and bangs me in the face. I wish I could say that I am making this up. I am not. The "friends" that I was sitting between were laughing and denying they knew me and later told me that I looked like a fish flopping around trying to get free. When I finally free myself I stand up, and yes, everyone is looking at me, including the teacher, who has this disgusted look on her face that suggests that she thinks I am trying to get attention. I say, in flat honesty, "Don't worry. I'm okay." And kind of bow my head to the teacher as if to say, "Please forgive me- I thought this would be a great way to get people to want to be my friend." I then touch me cheek. Blood. Yes, blood. The book that hit me in the face drew blood when it's academic corner stabbed me on my cheek. So I say, "Can I please go to the bathroom?" The teacher nods as if she is being so gracious to let me go to the bathroom to wipe blood off of my face.

And to think, just 30 minutes ago all I wanted to do was get off of that bus. And now, there is nothing more I could wish for then to be back on that bus, that cozy, warm, yellow bus with all of those cute, nice little 3rd graders. Tomorrow, I will smile at them. All of them. And in borrowing from Billy Madison I will say, "Stay here forever! Never leave 3rd grade!"