This morning I feel like nothing has really changed since last summer. All of it seems to be wiped out by the stupid choice I made last night…and equally stupid but less profound (?) choices being made on a DAILY basis!
The truth is, things HAVE changed. But in the sin department it feels like the change gets wiped out with one fell swoop. I need answers to two questions:
- How do I recover when I do fail?
- How do I stop failing in the same areas?
As I recall what was going on last night, it is almost as if I was simply bored. I could have just gone home. I had no compelling reason to stay at the office. I remember thinking I wanted to find something to do on the web…something to occupy me. I went to several comedy sites and then just stepped right into old behavior…slipped it on like a pair of old socks, I did.
Just a few minutes ago, I went back and watched that “farting preacher” video again and I’m laughing till I’m crying…again!
Why was that experience last night not “good enough”, Lord? Why did I feel I needed something else?
Why was absolutely gut-busting laughter, all-consuming hilarity and amusement not enough for me? Why has the worship experience of just a few days ago lost its hold on me already?
I’m just not at peace. I feel like I tried WAY too hard with Jack and Jenny in our counseling session yesterday. I was trying to fix ‘em… right then and there. Trying to “hit one out of the park”. I feel like I tried too hard with the Wed. night group too. Trying to gain glory.
I feel sleepy, selfish and indulgent. I don’t feel like I have a spirit at all – like, at its most complex, I’m an array of emotions. None of them actually “bad”, just sort of dry impulses.
I sat in front of the TV until two o’clock this morning, watching nothing in particular. I surfed channels, telling myself “I’ll watch through just one more set of commercials…just one more!” And these are shows I really don’t care about …but the fact is: I watched COMPULSIVLEY.
When there were commercials on, I continued to surf, looking for something, ANYTHING that would…that would…what!? Allow me to avoid going to bed? Why?!!! Last night on the computer it was the same scenario: just one more picture…”that image didn’t hit quite the right chord with me….” (Damn! I can feel it in me now: none of the images I looked at last night “got me quite right” and so there is a lingering desire to go look again!)
I was frankly numb to some of the images. Some of them would have been gratifying at some point in the past, but here’s a big surprise: I need more. What I was getting before simply isn’t good enough now. It doesn’t make my heart pound like I want it to. It’s not “bad” enough…or “other” enough, different from my regular life enough. It’s not an adventure. I’m not stimulated enough.
The TV shows and the web do not speak to the exact part of me that is longing to be spoken to. It’s like going to bed is giving up on the day…ending the day without having GOTTEN everything out of it. It’s like there’s a part of me that still NEEDS something at the end of the day. What!? I’ve had TONS of personal interaction. Many days, I have had intimate connection with God. I’ve had interaction with Brenda. I’ve even had alone time…what the hell else do I need! What am I waiting for? What am I waiting to happen that will make my day “complete”?!
And the food thing…that presents itself consistently throughout the day, not just at the end of the day. I get up from my desk, literally every 20 minutes MINIMUM to distract myself…and food is OFTEN the distraction I choose.
Oh God, I want to be free. I’ve made my commitments. I’ve prayed the prayers. I’ve renounced food, tobacco, drugs, porn, “self” and every other god – but I can’t seem to escape any of it for very long. I can’t consistently work-out. I feel the urge to just let go of the financial disciplines we have found…I had to force myself to balance the check book the other day. Normally I would be on it…desiring order, finding peace in obedience and consistency. Hell, I can’t brush my own teeth consistently. It all feels shaky right now.
Is it connected to stress level, Lord? Can I be my true self ONLY when there is little or no anxiety? When the pressure rises though, it pushes against who I am, and I begin to seek comfort outside myself – outside my heart where Jesus meets me?