I think there are days where you realize your separation from God more keenly than others. Some of these days you are going through something tremendous, something painful. Other days you are immersed in your own sin, your own choices and you are willfully choosing things that separate you from God. But there are other days where your separation creeps up on you. You look up one morning as you’re spreading peanut butter for your toddler and you realize that you have been living apart from God, not by conscious choice, but by omission.
I had one of those days recently. I was involved in peanut buttering, as a mater of fact, when I looked up and realized that my lingering and low-grade discontent had nothing to do with others. That my feelings of invisibility, the need to stretch myself, the lingering grumpiness, the discontent with various relationships had nothing to do with those things. It had to do with my need for God. In the midst of making resolutions, of seeking organization, motivation, trying to line everything up, I realized that God and I weren’t on track. It had nothing to do with him. I had been talking a lot about God, praying for things, feeling good about God but it had been a long time since I had let God have any input in the matter. I was doing the God relationship but not leaving myself open for him to work in me. I was talking but not listening, studying but not living.
God nudged my peanut butter-covered self and said, “You’re looking for contentment, for affirmation, for all of these things but you’re not letting me give them to you and I’m the only one who can fully satisfy these things.” So, wet-haired and peanut butter-covered I stood, realizing that these feelings of discontent and low-grade less-than-happiness were not external, they were internal.
God was waiting for me, watching and waiting. He heard my prayers, patiently, and waited for me to really talk with him. Not a lecture from me, but a conversation WITH him. He waited for me to remember that he was the most integral part of my happiness. That I am intensely visible to him. He waited for me to remember that I needed him more than he needed my works and diligence. He wanted me to be present as I so often beg him to be.
So, I stopped, and started to listen. Started to open up, to learn, to be changed, to start to unfold, uncoil, unwind, and grow.