April 03, 2005
The Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1
I'm sorry. Sorry for disappointing You. Sorry for wasting the gifts You've given me. You gave me so much, yet all I seem to be able to make these days are bad choices. Day after day slips by. Precious time You've given me. And I waste it. I'm so sorry about my homework. So sorry it doesn't get done. I'm sorry I've fallen so far behind as regards my devotional life as well. I'm sorry for failing.
Thanks for the things I got to do today. Thanks for a chance to make breakfast, go to church, do the laundry, clean up home, watch Ice Princess, go shopping, eat dinner, and watch Pretender episodes. I loved it. I enjoyed it.
But it probably wasn't a good idea. I'm desperately far behind in homework and haven't done any over the weekend. It's madness to do the things I do.
Father, what shall I say? Shall I ask You what I should do? Isn't it perfectly clear? I should work hard to try to salvage what I can of my semester. I should do my best. I should throw myself into my schoolwork, and do it as unto You. Isn't that what You'd tell me to do? Isn't that what You want from me?
You gave me my academic career. You gave me my ability. You intended that I use it to glorify You. Are You honored by my legacy this last semester? By a string of missed assignments, half-completed work, and skipped classes? By a complete failure to work on the project that mattered most? Are You honored by that? Are You going to be honored if I fail to graduate, as seems possible?
And is my sorrow and pain of any use? Are my apologies any good? I suppose they're only good if I back them with actions, with change. They're only good if I turn around and work as hard as I can to salvage what I can. God, I have to admit, I don't think anything is going to change. I think I'm going to crash this semester with all the grace of a helicopter without a main rotor. So what good are my apologies? What good is my pain?
Don't You despise me? Despise me for what I'm doing? What I've done? What I'm going to do?
God, it hurts. Every failure hurts. Every missed class hurts. At my failure regarding the Phoenix project is like a knife, always stabbing, always accusing me. It hurts, but so what? Without repentance, without change, it's only self-destructive narcissism.
All this is what it seems like, feels like, and how my mind groks the situation. But You say, "no." You say that all this is Your doing. That You are willing to do this - to let me come to the brink of the abyss (or what seems like it) for Your own purposes. That Your purposes are far deeper and higher than merely getting my schoolwork in order or living my life according to the rule. That You've done this to me - that You want me to trust.
God, what should I do? This is all well and good for prayer, but tomorrow, I have to make choices about actions. And my conscience is going to want me to work hard and my inclinations are going to want to procrastinate and waste what little time I have. And all the time, my despair will be weighing me down, crushing me. "Trust Me" is all well and good, but what do I do? What do You want me to do? What do You want?
God, do I even hear You? I have an imagination; I can imagine Your voice as easily as my own. How do I know what is true? How do I know what voice to heed, whom to listen to?
God, help me. I'm alone ... and I know that's all my fault (like everything else) - I've pushed people away, held everyone at an arm's distance, refused help. I don't know what the answer is. I don't know what to do. I don't understand. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I failed.