Already and Still, Not Yet

Stuck stuck stuck stuck stuck.

Now that the race is over with, I’m left feeling surprisingly empty. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise, all those mornings spent on trails were easy ways to feel productive, or to grab a endorphin rush and start the day right. I wake up too early now and crawl onto my knees in bed and just kind of slouch there under the covers, shaking off the fog of sleep, half-waking-half-dreaming-half-wishing I were somewhere else.

I missed Boston by 17 seconds, and I try not to let the significance of the fact get by me. I tell myself it’s okay to feel disappointed, to prevent myself from saying oh, it’s no big deal, next year. I’m trying to accept that I am disappointed.

I am disappointed, I am disappointed. I have to tell myself this sometimes, from the outside looking in, and bear the weight of it on my shoulders through my heart. Like: the angry plantar fasciitis. The soggy shoes and fumbly umbrella. Cooking a crappy soup. My inability to make sense of my love life. A week of rain. Not even liking, much less loving Oakland.

This I’m learning: laughter is my cover and cloak. Having the right answers is my defense.

I tried to describe to Jeff this morning how it felt, and I was surprised I couldn’t figure it out. Well, it was a sorta lonely feeling. I’ll start from there. I realized in the shower the other morning that I hated waiting. Recently I’ve been trying to distract myself. I know it’s not helpful, but I’d much rather be with the noise, the shiny stuff, the city din, the glitterati.

Henri Nouwen talks about allowing loneliness to drive you to the seat of your true desire: being close to the Father. Father, I wonder sometimes what the hell I am doing with my life. I want to know I want to know I want to know. When I was younger I used to pray: Jesus, be my only satisfaction with total abandonment. It sounds completely ridiculous, but I honestly didn’t expect to be here being asked of that now. I want human hands, I want tangible touch, I want a genuine experience, and soul-connection and laughter and tears.

It’s selfish, Jesus, but on the other hand it’s not. I just want to believe it is from you, and I can experience it, and I can wait and say you met me on the other side. Can I ask that? Dare I ask that? I don’t want trite answers. I want to sit in the seat of the valleys and remain there and say I waited patiently and he came, he really did.

Jonathan mentioned that at our home group the other week. What do you want, I asked him. I want to hear him say he’s proud of me, he answered, and I thought it the most genuine thing I’ve heard in a while.

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