Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Winning (not really), Loosing (absolultely) and Learning to Fly (I hope)
I headed out to walk a country road and “listen” for God, not because I wanted to, or because I felt lonely for His presence, but more because I knew I was stuck and mad with a thing or two to say to Him. Being stuck and mad with an agenda is not the best way to start a listening walk, I realize. But that is where I was and I want to tell the tale honest.
We talked about my shortcomings in my marriage. We talked about my insecurities about my body. And mostly I just got madder. Finally I stopped and said outloud-ish, “I don’t know what you want from me. I can’t win this one.”
Somehow, in my mid-thirties, I still think this is a game, a contest, a quest with winner and losers and prizes at the end. I have a penny pinned to my chest with my race number. I am hoping to be one of the top fifty finishers. I am hoping for a PR so I set my stopwatch.
But in marriage there are no winners. In parenting there are no winners. In loving, healthy community, there are no winners. The whole paradigm is plum broke. I have constructed all of my relationships, and my image of myself, within standard American binaries.
It has to be this or that.
Right or wrong.
Friend or enemy.
I am either smart, or I am not.
I am either pretty, or I am not.
I am skinny or I am fat.
I am present or far away.
I either know the whole answer or nothing at all.
This is making me tired. And mad. And now I have to rethink everything, including the life of Christ. We grew up singing songs of victory on Easter morning. God wins. Satan looses. Even my faith is built around notions of success. Christ died to win once and for all. Or is that all of the story?
Maybe Christ died and was raised again to break the binary. Before Christ, there was only God and man, and a great cavern between. Christ built a bridge, and bridges are never about winning. Bridges are about relationships, exchanges and access. By the great mystery that is Christ, God draws near and I can enter, trembling, the Holy of Holies. And so can the next guy who believes. No winning. No striving. No more looking out for Number One.
I chewed on all of that as I walked. The silent shadow of a little airplane hugged the hills and I looked up. And what I saw was beautiful. Airplanes don’t flap. They don’t strive. Their pilots learn a little physics, tip their hat to Bernoulli, and let the wind do the work. I want to be an airplane.
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." I Tim. 2:5