There has been a distinct quiet wistfulness I have felt in walking across campus the past few evenings. I keep catching myself thinking back to the years gone by. I continue to think of what's been accomplished, what I wish I could have changed, and what I now miss. What worries me is that these ponderings are coming before the task is done. I think I'm getting ahead of myself.
Sometimes I wish I didn't care so much about the past. I think that's where most of my stiffness and over caution comes from. It seems that the past is always there to tell me: "No, don't go a step further." It's as though I am trying to not repeat past mistakes or to be burned once more, but it happens no matter how much I try to subconsciously stop change. I have the tendency to want to keep the pictures perfect, to not allow the imperfections to be seen.
But how does change sting so! Words spoken and actions done that sever the past hurt the most. Somehow I need to find my way through it though the maze. Somehow, but I am still unsure how. The future seems to remain in a hazy fog.
What's more, it seems I am reminded how much I am clueless to what others want of me. I don't know what kind of friend I should be. All the lines have become blurred for me. It's as though someone took off my rose-colored glasses I wore for my first three years in college and put on a set of glasses that blurred my vision. My heart has been thrown into this blurred state.
If life is truly a dance, as so many country songs state as matter of fact, then I've been stepping on a lot of toes lately. Too many, some might say. But it's through these missteps and miscues that we learn who we are and who others truly are. Masterpiece pictures we first saw become less-than-perfect pieces of flawed art. But, in the end, it's important that the dance occurred in the first place.
And so that brings me back to the blurred heart of mine, which has caused me to lose my way on the Path. It's by God's grace that I am back on the Path and His alone. However, the journey is not close to being over.
I have not been consoled in my troubled heart. I do not sense an intellectual or physical inadequacy. No, my weakness is emotional. And, sad to say, it has been the case for the longest of times. And the only thing that is keeping this unleveled stool of mine from falling asunder is God and my faith in Him.
The question for me is this: will my faith hold out? Will it see itself through to the end? Will it wait on the Lord with all might that can be mustered? Or will it wilt when put to the test? Is not the test a daily ordeal? How can we not be concerned for each of our next failures? It is through the Lord that we are able to stave off the doubts of the heart, to stave off the temptation of giving up and giving in.
Still, I want my heart to be broken. I want my heart to be broken and bruised. I want to have my toes stepped on as we all move out on the dance floor. And yet that dance partner hasn't come around. I am adept enough to know that these things don't just fall into one's lap. No, it's something to be searched for, but maybe I've been looking in the wrong places.
However, that's been the most confounding part because I thought it was honorable to be looking where I have. How confounding it is. It may be these words that have been written by my hand that incriminate me to this hapless state I am in currently. It is these words that chain me to being alone. However, I cannot purport something else to be my true self for this is me. I cannot put on old clothes that hide my true self. These words past and present are a part of me. And yet I continue to weigh myself down with chains still further.
Maybe I should just put on the rose-colored glasses once more and pretend everything is okay. However, for me it isn't okay, and there is no way to return to that blissful ignorance of the heart from my youth.
My spiritual dark night of the summer maybe over—thanks be to God—but my emotional dark night is here to stay for the long term. How do I pray that it will depart me for it haunts me still.
It may be the cross that I am to bear. It is through these struggles that the Lord will grant the peace of heart that I so desire. It is through Him that all things do come, and for that I shall remain patient as best as my heart can remain.
Out of the Night
What love do I feel within me;
It’s the peace you bring, O Lord.
The tranquility is not my doing,
Rather the work of your calming hands.
What merciful ways in which you free
For which my heart must sing, O Lord.
The fortitude is quickly swelling,
Ascending like an eagle over troubled lands.
Your soothing presence before me
Covers me with a grace so stirring, O Lord.
It counteracts against the temptations growing,
Subduing the Foe with a might so grand.
The Foe is no match to thee;
You are mightier than any realm or king, O Lord.
I am thankful for your merciful giving
So that I might, with you, so firmly stand.
I am forever grateful for my now renewed sight
And for being brought out from that cold dark night.