I was sitting in Church today trying to pay attention to what Pastor Scott was saying. It’s hard not to; he’s got a southern delivery that is hard not to watch in awe. But sometimes heavy hearts lead to closed ears.
I’m a Christian guy. You may not know it if you’ve read much of this. I curse. I drink. I have a strong sarcastic streak. But my faith has always been important to me. I make time to pray everyday. Maybe not on bended knees with closed eyes. Usually driving in my truck with the music turned down. Sometimes in my head when I’m mowing my lawn. I tend to skip the formalities and get right to the substance. “I need you on this, God. Show me where I need to go.”
I think some people need the big, formal God. The suit, tie, and stained glass windows God. Not to sound like Ricky Bobby, but I prefer my God riding shotgun in my F-150. Or next to me and my basset hound on the porch. God is my confidante. He’s my bent ear. It took a long time and for real life to get pretty heavy for me to realize he comes to me as a friend. Maybe that’s not the “correct” God. But he’s gotten me through many hard times. So I think I’ll keep him where he is.
All of this with her has me acting in ways that I don’t like, certainly in a manner that I’m unfamiliar with. I’m pressing way too hard. Upon reflection this has been entirely too much about me. “Show ME what to do God. What can I do to get her to trust me…to love Me.”
That’s not what any of this about. Love isn’t a goal, another block on my checklist. It’s not another degree I want on my wall. It’s bigger. It’s more humble. It’s a process. And more than anything, it’s a blessing. Now, I may not be a biblical scholar, but I don’t remember being taught that extra prayer will force God’s hand on anything. No matter how bad I’ve ever wanted something, it has always come it was supposed to. Or not at all. And much to my chagrin in the moment, retrospect has always proven that the divine plan was better than my own.
So. Mid-communion God made it very clear what I need to do. Not like a voice in my head or a burning bush moment. Just a moment of clarity. “Listen buddy, I made you a type A and there are times and places where I’m going to use that. But on this. Well. You’re gonna have to let me handle it.”
That’s not the answer I wanted, sure. Everything I have ever achieved is due to pure and simple hustle (with his help of course). I’m very proud of that. But this isn’t about me. It’s about her. And Him. So, here you go, God. I’m gonna back off and see what you do with it. I think I’ve made my intentions with her very clear to her. And very clear to him. All that I can do now is continue to pray. Continue to love her. Continue to grow and hope.
If I needed any reassurance about this conclusion, this song came on as soon as I got in my truck. I laughed out loud. “Okay, big guy. I hear you. Do what you think is right.”