December 9, 2010

Burning, Again

The past couple days have been incredibly difficult for me.  I have had time off from Macy's, which is such a blessing right now (with school and recital and other things, it has been nice to have less hours scheduled for work).  I have been working nights, and think that nights suit me better than days.  I thought I wanted to work days, but after doing that for several months; I have come to realize that really, I like my days at home.  I like to do my housework, be with my son, and take care of daily needs during the day time.  I enjoy this time, and feel like it is less "work" to go in the evening (if that makes sense).  I recently switched my availability so that I am only getting evening and weekend hours.  It works better now, and I am less in pain (backwise).  I am now working 2-3 evenings a week, plus either Saturday or Sunday.  My hours still are 20 or less, so I am content that this schedule is doable, and that I can accomplish everything I need to do for school and life, in general.  I am blessed.

I am also doing really well at Macy's.  After a sort of rocky start, whereby I didn't get on well with the managers (they are all driven for sales, which is a key characteristic of management at Macys), I have settled into a more comfortable routine.  I go in and do my job, that is all.  I don't complain, I don't engage the other sales people.  I simply smile, help the customer, and do the work that is assigned to me.  It is difficult at times, hard and laborious, but overall, I am used to it now, and I can competently do it.  I think the Managers like me, at the least, they say they do.  I am getting left alone, which simply means that I am making my goal, selling credit when I have to do it, and generally, because of those two things, I am considered "OK" by the Store Manager.  It is a good thing, really.

Moreover, I am doing well in my school classes.  I am managing all my assignments, and will begin my end of term papers today (and through next week).  Then I will be done for the semester, and hopefully, will get As in these classes.  I would like to maintain an A average simply because I plan on going to the next level, and I need a 3.75 or better average to be considered as a candidate for PhD studies.  I think this is very doable, but you never know until those grades are posted.  I am working hard, doing the assignments, and trying to be "online" enough so that it appears I am actively involved.  I think it will be OK, and I am trying not to fret over it too much.

Lastly, I think I have finally gotten over recital issues.  The Chamber recital was postponed due to my teacher's illness, and this Sunday, my son's Senior Recital is schedule.  I am playing several songs, but I am not really nervous about them.  I feel like I can do this, and I think it will be OK too.

The other day the Lord said to me, "Carol, your life is not as bleak and hopeless as you think."  I guess from my vantage point, it appeared this way, and I was complaining (well, lamenting is a better word).  From His perspective, things are mightily different, that is for certain.  God sees the totality of my efforts, He sees how I am doing when it comes to accomplishing His will, and He knows my heart.  Therefore, His judgment is superior to mine, which is limited and at best, short-sighted.  God knows what tomorrow will bring, and He also knows the plans He has for me.  I, in turn, know nothing.  I try my best to do what pleases Him, and I hope that my heart-attitude, and my willingness to submit are good enough.  Of course, I can do nothing that is good, but you know what I mean.  My attempts are always going to be futile unless they are surrendered under His precious fountain and flooded with His Grace.  I know this, and I try so hard to remain in this state of Grace.  It is more a matter of me walking away, and not of Him taking it away -- it is more just that I still want my way, and not His, and because of that, often I find myself in a not-so-very-comfortable situation.

This is where I am today.  I know the truth.  I know that God is true and faithful, and that He keeps His promises.  Throughout His word, God tells us this.  He shows us His faithfulness.  And, He reminds us that He is truthful to do what He says He will do.  Our problem is that we believe otherwise.  We tend to view things from our vantage point, which often looks like:  1, God is not doing what He has said to us; and 2, that God is not being truthful or faithful.  We might see His Goodness, but we do not see the other two points.  The truth of the matter is that often (I am speaking in generalitiies) we don't see God's faithfulness because He has not completed His work.  Whatever He may have promised to us is in process, and we are only seeing the dailies, so to speak (when filmmakers shoot film, they review the daily work -- called dailies).  These daily snips of film reveal the days work only.  The production is not complete until the filming is finished, and then the editing department takes over.  We see the completed project when we go to the theater, but all the work necessary to complete the picture has taken place over several years.  This is how it is with God.  We only are shown the daily work, not the completed picture.  We have to wait for His work to be done (in our lives and in the world).  We don't like waiting, and we want to see the finished project.  The problem is that often we see the dailies and draw conclusions that say "this is how it will be" when we really know that the plot can change in the next few frames.  This is especially true when we consider that we do not know the script because we didn't author it. 

You see, God is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  He writes the script of our lives, and then directs the action over the course of our days.  The finished project comes to completion at the end of time -- when Jesus returns and we are all given our glorified bodies.  Until then, the film of our lives continues to be shot.  It follows the course outlined in God's script, and since we are just the actors who are reading the lines (figuratively), we only have the day's dialog.  We only know today, and not tomorrow.  Thus, if we attempt to figure out what tomorrow will be by using the day's work, we run the risk of missing the boat, coming short of the mark, or simply believing in error.

This is exactly what I have done.  I am a big picture person.  I see the end before I recognize the details that come together to make up the end.  I want to see the movie of my life, I want it to be over (finished as in the project being done).  I don't want to wait for tomorrow's lines or the course of action to take place.  No, I want to read the script, and then offer my suggestions to edit the content.  God says (gently), "No, you may not know this, for this is my Work in your life."  Yet, this is what I want, and this is what I attempt to do every day.  I am sure it frustrates my God, and I am sure He looks at me and knows how much it frustrates me.  Why?  Why must I always want to be god?

Well, after three really bad days where I thought my life was hopeless and futile, and where I basically told God that I no longer believed He was truthful and faithful to me -- I am stuck in this pretty awful place -- and feeling pretty ratty to boot.  I don't want to be here, and truthfully, I do believe God keeps His promises.  I do believe that He is faithful and true.  I just understand now that what I want, I cannot have.  I want to be god over the details of my life, and He says, "no."  I want to direct some of the action, to take control, and He says "no."  I want, I want, I want.  It is all about me, and I know better than to be this way.  I have been here too many times, and I have felt this pang of sorrow and anguish.  I know better -- yet here I sit again.  UGH!

Dear Lord,

I get it now.  I understand what has happened, and why it has happened.  I understand that I tried to get involved in your script, your shooting schedule, and with the plans you have as Director over my life.  I wanted to be Producer, and that is not my role.  I wanted to be Editor, and that is not my role either.  You have given me the role of Actor, and that means that I am only to act out what has been directed.  I am not allowed to edit the script, to do my own thing, or go my own way.  I am to follow the script, and that is where I am most comfortable, and most suited.

I am sorry for acting this way, and trying to do this with you.  I know better, and I ask your forgiveness for behaving this way.  I ask now to be restored to my place in the production, in the grand production of my life.  I will act what you direct, and I will trust that as AUTHOR AND FINISHER, you are able to direct the details of my life, and produce something that is very GOOD, indeed.  I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

No comments: