Saturday, September 16, 2006

My Perpetual Dilemma

This post caught my eye. In particular, these lines:
What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about? What do you stay up at night worrying about?

For me, that's teaching. And my husband. I love my husband dearly, but I do not have the intense drive to be a good wife like I do to be a good teacher. (Plus I think it would freak him out if I did!) And even though I have more burn for teaching than for wifery, my husband is more of a priority.

But I have struggled for a long time with the attitude my heart carries for Scripture. I get up in the mornings, and almost every day, my first thought is "how can I improve my lessons to make them more effective?" I go to the library and the bookstore, searching through the stacks and shelves for ideas. I get online and go over list after list of lesson plans, blogs and listservs, amazon reviews and story and poem reccommendations. I'm not even looking for "the perfect lesson" but just anything I can use to improve what I've got. I give everything I can to my job. No - it's more than a job. I've had jobs before. I can say without feeling like I'm exaggerating that it's truly a calling. I wish with all my heart that I could have that same sort of near-obsession (at least I don't THINK it's pathological... yet...) for Scripture.

For me, Scripture is like... it's like oatmeal. Now, please understand, I like oatmeal a lot. But I like it with nuts and raisins and cinnamon and sugar, or maybe with fruit and cream. Or if you want something really tasty and surprising and you're ready for a not-sweet, go savory with bits of bacon and sausage mixed in, and eggs on the side. But oatmeal by itself is... well, it's good for you, but rather bland. Tasteless. And not particularly appetizing.

I love reading commentary. And I love hearing about people's experiences with and conversations about Scripture. I love getting new perspective on it, because I'm so familiar with it that when I read it, it has that samd kind of bland, tasteless feel. Commentary and dialogue are like the raisins and spices that I add to my oatmeal.

And then I think, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I mean, this is SCRIPTURE we're talking about! It shouldn't need to be "spiced up."

So I'm frustrated and angry with God. My prayers sometimes go like this: "Hey, didn't You promise that if we asked for something that was good for us, You'd grant it? What could possibly be not good for me about hungering for Scripture??"

I wait, and nothing seems to change... or even to happen. I have no idea what to do. I've tried everything I can think of, and nothing's worked, so I think, "maybe I'm just supposed to wait it out." In the meantime, I continue praying and waiting for an answer. I look for books, blogs, music, whatever I can find that might help me continue to grow spiritually. I consciously try to respond to people the way God would want me to.

And I keep eating my oatmeal...


Stephen said...

Something I heard this past week I thought I would share with you. Elijah was in a cave hiding for fear of his life. There was storms, earthquakes, and fires...but Elijah only emerged from the cave when he heard that "still small voice". I know I too often try to fill my life with all these things, but all these things only crowd out that "still small voice".
Give it time and listen, the voice is there.

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