Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disappointment with or without God.

I've been sitting on this one for a few days. Ever since I read Philip Yancey's Disappointment with God. 

You know. The vulnerability thing. Do I really want to put it out there that I have been disappointed with God?

Like, what will people think? Will I get kicked out of choir?  Or will I get Those Stares. Where people with unblinking gazes bore laser beam holes of judgement into my soul?

This morning I read a blog post by an Anglican rector from British Columbia that took a LOT of guts. He has more at stake than I do. I am still the unknown nobody. He is a published author and pastor! At the beginning of his post he shares how he struggled with publishing his conclusions on some extensive research on yoga.

So. I have no excuse.

From the title and my admission of recent reading you can guess where I've been for the past... oh let's just say looooong time.

Life today is radically different than I imagined it would be when I grabbed that diploma holding tube from the president of Houghton College back in 1994. During those short four years, I had the biggest dream of my life crash and burn by sophomore year. Then there was plan B!

I wrapped my arms around that new dream and with the support of my new department full of amazing profs, I worked my butt off to complete a whole new degree and minor in two years! I zoomed from the bottom of the GPA food chain to the very top! Ah! Success! Goals! Dreams! Hope!

All to crash in a burning heap a few weeks before graduation.

I left Houghton disillusioned. Confused. Angry. I thought God shut one door to open another? How else could I explain that kind of miraculous success? The profs had never seen such a case like me... from flailing failing to soaring and scoring.

Plan C...D...E...F...G... when you run out of the 26 letters there is AA... BB... and so on.

God was coming off more and more like an enemy rather than the Good God of the Bible.

For years I felt betrayed by Him. Heck, I prayed that I would only go down paths paved by His Will. I assumed His Will = Darcie's Amazing Stories of Success.

Thanks to Yancey's book and my first ever episode of Dr. Who, I have a new perspective.

Being human, I wanted... no... demanded an explanation for the mess called my life.

 From God Himself.

I wanted Him to answer to me so I could accept the way things turned out and get on with it.

Or be over it.

Like Job.

Yancey highlights The Wager between God and Satan at the beginning of the book of Job. How Satan bet God that Job's faith would crack under adversity. Satan believed God bribed Job into faith. God and Satan shook hands and the bet was on. We all know how it turns out. Read Job if you are not familiar with it. It is so honest and real.

Anyway, Yancey's point is that we get so focused on our reality. The reality of planet Earth, that we fail to remember there is another reality. The spiritual realm. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on that we can't see. Understand. Or know. But both dimensions are interconnected.

Like in Dr. Who.

Okay, so I put off watching it for fear I would get hooked. Sunday night it was on. And yeah, I was hooked. Aside from the clever writing and fun plot I was struck by the parallel between what I saw on the screen and Job. Job's faith put Satan in his place. Was a nail in his eternal coffin.

In Dr. Who, there was this entity, the Witch of the Well, who had been seen for centuries in the same spot. A ghost hunter and his companion assumed she was murdered there long, long ago and sought to rest in peace.

The Doctor, however, had a totally different theory. He discovered she was in a pocket dimension and was actually a time traveler from the future. but her circumstances affected the dimension of the present and the present affected her predicament as well. Although unseen to most, the dimensions were interconnected. Who had to travel to the pocket dimension to understand the plight, then rescue the young woman.

Our lives here affect the spiritual. The spiritual realm affects our reality - check out Daniel who's prayer went unanswered b/c a battle broke out preventing the answer to come in a timely manner. (I think it's chapter 9 if you wanna check it out).

Yancey concludes that there are no concrete answers to  feeling disappointed with God. We suffer and suffer and may never know why this side of Heaven. In fact, our situations may not get better this side of Heaven.


That's what it's all about. Our time here is short relative to eternity.

Earth is not our home. Disappointments and hurts make us long for our true place.

So what did I learn?

I can be all mad and miffed at life with God or without God. Whether I choose to turn on my heels and stomp away from Him or press into him I will suffer. Life sucks. The bombings in Boston by Islamic terrorists? The explosion in Texas? The economy? Our political climate? North Korea? Iran?

And you know what?

It's not gonna get any better.

I'm gonna face all the disappointment in life WITH God.



Michelle said...

Oh Darcy lovely! Yes, I will be disappointed and pleased with God because I cannot imagine life without God.

BTW, because I have been a Doctor Who fan(atic) since before you were born I have to tell you the main character in Doctor Who is referred to as "The Doctor" or "Doctor Who" but not just "Who." Otherwise welcome to the Whoverse!

D. Gudger said...

Haha! I guess I am really exposing myself as a Whovian newbie! I do remember seeing the b&w ads for it on PBS as a kid.

I am finding myself to be drawn into sci fi stuff more and more, probably b/c of the reminder that this world is more than flesh and blood.

I shall forever and furthermore refer to him as The Doctor ;)

Becky Todd said...

I don't know why but Isaiah 61:1-3 is where my mind went reading your blog. Nicely written. Keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Anger with God

Thank you for saying it: LIFE SUCKS. Dealing with mental illness, drugs and alcohol, disappointment and anger, strong wills and timid withdrawal, my family and I are well past going to plan E, F, G...

Everyday conversations always include the polite questions "How was your weekend?" and 'How was your holiday?" and my favorite "How's the family?" Politeness means I can never answer these well meaning questions honestly and always find myself looking (and finding) something positive to say instead of the honest answer LIFE SUCKS.

Your blog helped me find some acceptance and lessen the self blaming. Next step for me may be to think about my anger at God for letting innocent people suffer so. I know His answer is that we humans have created the cruel world we live in, not He. Still, LIFE SUCKS is a hard lessen to accept.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences. It helped me feel less alone.