I feel like a walking contradiction.
Ever feel that way? The things that appeal to me I don't want to do -- that kind of thing. It was extremely comforting when I discovered one of my favorite authors, Brennan Manning, feels the same way sometimes:
"When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and I get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said, 'I am a rational animal.' I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer."
Other than the beer part, that describes me perfectly. I have my "incredible capacities," they just don't happen to be alcoholic beverages.
Although at the moment I am worse than usual (not even able to make a decision on whether I want to watch a particular movie or not, for example), I usually am a bundle of paradoxes, as the quote says. Why is this?
I have noticed that my worst times of indecisiveness are usually accompanied by lack of contentment and joy.....I have my "escapes," but when I can't even find an escape that appeals to me I know I need to do some major heart-work.
I was writing in my prayer journal last night and, as happens frequently, I was able to express my heart a little better:
"Father, why is it that when I feel like running from everything in life, the only place I feel like I can actually escape is Your arms? I've been running from you lately by not running to you. Yet you always keep coming closer and closer with Your arms wide open!"
I cannot express how awesome His grace is. I think about how I feel when someone is pulling away from me: I put up a wall; I leave them alone; I get my feelings hurt. Not so with our Father! He longs to embrace us, longs for our love. He doesn't NEED it: He WANTS it. This in itself is hard for me to begin to fathom. Why would He want my love? Me, a bundle of paradoxes; a foolish creature who runs from the very thing I long for and need most; a prideful human who would rather find temporary pleasures than be humble enough to become as a child and crawl into my Father's lap and enjoy Him.....and rest.
As I told a friend in an email today, I have been trying to fight doubts and fears without my sword; it makes no sense. I have the Treasure of life, and I let it lay on my shelf. I know the Creator of the Universe, and I treat Him as a common aquaintance. I am offered intimacy with my Savior and True Love, and I try to fill the void with worthless idols.
This is why I am a bundle of paradoxes. When I am walking with Him and living the abundant life, it is no longer I who live but Christ living in me. But when I allow myself to slip into these times of handling this thing called life on my own......well, I not only fail and become depressed:
I'm a walking contradiction.
How thankful I am that He loves me even when I am running the opposite direction. I have found, when you are His, all paths lead to His arms; some are just a little rougher and take longer to get there. But when you are there, there is no other place more appealing. This is one thing I am sure of today.
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