Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Where It Hurts


I've been feeling stuck lately. It's painful, not being where I've wanted to be.

Tomorrow, I have my glucose intolerance test. Find out if I'm diabetic. Then, there are changes I need to make for my health. Get unstuck there.

I may go and get my resume started at the job bank in town. Get unstuck at work.

Organize my closet. Unstuck my wardrobe.

Call for some marriage counseling. Get unstuck in communicating with my husband.

I need patience. Now. These issues will not get resolved immediately.

I had a long talk with my friend, Donna, on the phone about some hurts I've been feeling. I'm unhappy and I need to understand that the pain is telling me something. Life can hurt sometimes and I am in this rut.

I'm tempted to run away.

Maybe that is why Bob Dylan fascinates me. He has gone through all these changes, and explores different aspects of music. He gets out of ruts all the time creatively. He uses his pain to write a song. He doesn't run away from life's hurts but uses it to work for his music. For example, during a performance on the David Letterman show about 20 years ago, Bob has an issue with his harmonica in the middle of "Jokerman"--he actually leaves the band on the stage to go get the harmonica in the right key. When he gets back on stage, he channels his fury into his harmonica, like he's cussing through it and using body language to direct his musicians. He doesn't stop until he's spent. The song finally ends, and he looks like he's in a daze. He went somewhere else throughout his performance and he took his audience there with him. I also felt it while attending his concert in July.

God took away my dog (through death) and my husband (through work schedules) from me and I'm faced with my loneliness. Do I love God more than Buttercup? More than Dennis? More than anything or anyone else? More than my job? What can I do to grow spiritually? What will it cost me? My reputation? Relationships? Feeling good? Feeling significant?

Ahh. The cost. There's potential for even more pain. Who says that believing in God makes life easier? From my experience, belief is like holding a knife over my sacrificial lamb, my Isaac. How did Abraham manage to lift his arm up? My grasp on the knife is very weak. My faith doesn't even amount to a hair on a mustard seed's head.

I've shut down in so many ways lately. But where there's pain, there's hope. I do have open doors to healing. And growth. Will you bless me even now, Father? I see deserts, no ripening wheat fields. Will you even bless me in the wastelands?

I've got opportunities to expand at my job skills. So, I will. That is an open door. I will focus on myself and how I relate to my co-workers and how I do my job. If there is anything I can change for the better, I will. If I don't keep growing, I will stagnate. Then, I'm in real trouble.

And that is why Bob Dylan, or at least my impression of him, fascinates me. He's private about his spiritual beliefs or doubts, at least as far as he can be while writing songs about them. So, in that arena, I know nothing about him. But his music career is a picture of growth. He's not afraid of asking the hard questions or saying the hard statements.

And at my age, I need that.

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." Proverbs 4:11

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