I’m struck today by the contrasts of this journey.
Yesterday, to put it mildly, sucked. I spent the day wrestling internally, stewing, and growing more angry by the moment. Yes, there were some extenuating circumstances (for example, a lecture on tolerance… sigh), but mostly I felt caught in a cycle of awareness of just how hard this journey really is. I grew progressively more angry, and I can attest to the fact that any attempt to move forward in reading, praying and researching seemed pointless. It got so bad that I sent Kirsten a text that basically sent I was so angry that I was in the point of needing to be very aware of the scripture that talks about “in your anger do not sin.” It was bad.
It got better when I admitted it to someone (a lesson I tend to forget – bring others in for support and prayer). And it got better when I recognized that this was not the day to explore hard theological truths. Instead, I did errands. For probably three straight hours. And then I put on a DVD and sat on my floor, and created pre-made bags of fruit for smoothies with the lovely frozen goodies I’d bought at Costco. And I chose to set aside that part of my journey, just for an evening. It helped.
And then there’s today. Today I’m rested, and I’ve eaten proper, healthy food. Today I had time to work out at home before I left, and I sat in the sun at the bus stop. Today I spent time in scripture and left my house feeling tidy and organized before I headed for school. And today I read several steps from Christian Smith’s book, several pages of Catholicism for Dummies, caught up on my Lenten readings (I’m using two different booklets on my iPad), and took time to sit quietly on the bus and listen for Jesus. And here’s the thing – in creating space, and taking care of myself, I heard Him. I was reminded that over five years ago, when I woke in the morning from a dream in which Jesus poured wine over my hands, it was a simple Catholic song, sung by Steve Bell and his daughter Sarah that played through my mind and gave initial meaning and interpretation to that dream. I read in Smith’s book about the idea of Sola Scriptura, and pondered how, despite my very Evangelical background, this is a doctrine that I’ve been on a fifteen year journey of rejecting.
And maybe that’s the point – there are going to be bad days – days when it’s a painful slogging to move forward on this journey, and I feel deaf to the voice of God whispering in my ears that “this is the way, walk in it.” And there are going to be days when things flow, and I hear easily and clearly. And on the bad days, I don’t always have to push. Sometimes I can just choose to be joyful – to stare at pictures that make me smile, and to watch a funny television show, and to cook healthy food, and not to engage with theology. And on the good days, well, I can do all those things too, and maybe even a little theology to boot!