Sunday, December 19, 2010

How Deep the Rabbit-Hole

It's 1:25 am and I can't sleep. I'm going to regret it in the morning, I'm going to be very tired at church. I regret it already. I am tired now. But I can't sleep. I got some disappointing news today. It's not as bad as news some of my friends have received, or even as bad as past news I've received, but at this exact point in time, it's really disappointing news. So here I am, literally laying on the couch.

Welcome to my therapy session.

I don't know what to do with it the news I got today, and that's very frustrating. In many ways, the news isn't the end of something, but really, just the beginning. But the beginning of something that for the past two months I had really been mentally planning for, and now, it's the beginning of something that doesn't involve me.

I'm discouraged, I'm disappointed, I'm frustrated, I'm a little embarrassed. I feel foolish, maybe even a little stupid. But at the same time, I don't think I am foolish, I don't think I am stupid. But how could I have been so wrong?

Because that's what it is. I was incredibly blind and wrong. Stupid. Misguided.

Or, a mistake is about to happen, a mistake I've seen before, a mistake I warned against, a mistake I will now be a part of, complicit in. A mistake I'm not sure I can watch happen.

I was so sure of a particular future, one that's now not going to happen. So sure that God was making something abundantly clear to me. Only apparently that wasn't the case.

And that is really, really crushing. I thought that like our move here in 2006, that once again, I was running alongside God, witnessing Him working in my life, getting the privilege of seeing the pieces as they were coming together. Not the typical after-the-fact hindsight where you can see everything He was maneuvering, but an as-it-happens lockstep you-and-God moment. A thrilling experience I thought I was getting a second opportunity at.

Except it wasn't. So what the hell was it? I'm so lost now, so confused. So utterly bewildered at what I just went through.

In the rash, early hours of this revelation*, I feel like I have only one really unpleasant choice. Do I allow myself to be a part of the mistake? I think I do, because it's the only choice I can see. And I might be wrong, it might not be a mistake. I might be relying too much on past performance as an indicator of future success (or lack thereof).

Or do I even have a choice? God has a plan. This is bigger than me, but I now am completely in the dark about what my part in it is. Or if there even is a part for me. Because the only part I can see now is my own complicity in the mistake that hasn't yet happened and my own astonishment at apparently how completely off-base I was.

But that's an incredibly pessimistic view, and one that seems contrarian to any plan God must have. God doesn't make mistakes. Which means my perception, my assessment, my prediction is incorrect. Or a mistake has been made and I'm not wrong. But can that be? As much as I'd like to believe it, it seems bold, prideful, and to fly in the face of the wisdom that's brought all of us to this point.

So I can't question God's plan and I have to assume this is God's plan. After everything I've been through in these few short moments, with regards to this, God is the only one thing I can still hold true. Everything else I thought I knew, I thought I believed, it's all turned out to be wrong. Which leads me back to why I feel so stupid, so lost now.

How could I have been so wrong? And from where I lie tonight on the couch in the dark unable to sleep, what on earth was the point of putting me through all this?

The only answers I can think of are:

(1) In preparation for some wild left turn that's not yet visible to me. And beyond my feeble brain to even imagine. Which is scary. Not that I can't imagine something, but that I can imagine that there's something I can't imagine, because what little of it that I can imagine suggests a direction I didn't think is possible, a direction I don't want to consider. A direction that would mean an upheaval I don't want in my nice cozy little life.

(2) The big, thick, massive, sun-blocking wall of steel, concrete, razor-wire, guard towers with spotlights and machine guns wall that's been erected in my path will crumble to dust. I'm not holding my breath for this one, because it points to several large failures in areas that I think are closer to infalible than the point on which I stand.

(3) It was a mistake, a distraction. Perhaps it's still a point of pride with me, but it's hard to stomach the fact that it was all an exercise in futility, there's nothing to be learned, nothing to apply, that it was a colossal waste of time. That I was staring off out the window, daydreaming, and that I need to come back to reality, realize where I am and stop wasting time. It wasn't a vision, it wasn't a glimpse of the future, it was a fairy tale and a fallacy and a false look that created a false hope that incontrovertibly discolored what had previously been clear. And if that's the case, I'm now guilty of some kind of theft for all that's been invested that wasn't mind to invest and can't be recouped -- plus my perception has been altered, making it hard to reorient back to the status quo.

There is a fourth option, a combination of #3 and #1, one that calls for me to embrace my arch-nemesis, patience. But I don't think that's it. This felt like a "for such a time as this" moment, a non-transferrable "bet on horse #3 in race #7" sure thing.

*Actually, can I even call this a revelation? What's the exact opposite of a revelation? Time to consult thesaurus.com... failure, mistake, miss, loss, concealment, hiding, secret, doubt, rejection, skepticism, unbelief (disbelief?), ignorance, misconception, misunderstanding, obscurity, vagueness. Ah. Ok, so now it's become clear to me why I'm struggling so much. Thanks, thesaurus.com, now I have a vocabulary to describe what I'm feeling and thus we've saved money on therapy.

But, man, that's bleak. No wonder I can't sleep, mourning something that was not to be, trying desperately to scrape and scrap, to hold on to that which I know wasn't to be, wishing I'd never been shown a glimpse in the first place, wishing I hadn't been shown a fantasy that I can now count as loss.

Where is Morpheus with the blue pill when you need him?
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