Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Maybe Complacency

"My problem is stemming form the fact that I know I have a dream, but I don't know what it is. It's this great, big, unspoken something that crashes within me like a gong, and yet, when I try and talk about it or define it, I can only find fleeting, vapors of thought." -- Brent Hickey

A friend wrote this in his blog several weeks ago, and when I read it, I felt something go off inside of me. I keenly felt the truth in those words. This "great, big, unspoken something" is a raw, open, shockingly real thing inside of me, but, like Brent, I can't verbalize it, materialize it, or even visualize it. So I wrote the quote in my journal and kept walking, hoping to stumble upon something that would cause that aching blob to take form.

Nothing happened. Then I spent two weeks babysitting with my sister in Lancaster, PA. In kids terms, two weeks is a very long time. But in the grand scheme of life (aka, in adult terms), two weeks really isn't that long. I've lived away from home for nine-months stints before, so two weeks spent relaxing with a nine- and six-year-old should be a piece of cake for me.

Not so. I don't ever remember being so homesick. Maybe it was the lack of insane activity that flavors my life. After all, Lancaster travels at a much slower pace than Fredericksburg, and I was a stay-at-home babysitter. Perhaps it was the fact that I love home more now than ever before. Maybe it was because I was solely responsible for the function of a household other than my own, and it's hard to keep something functioning "normally" when I don't know what "normal" looks like. Maybe I just missed my people. I think it was a combination of all the above.

Whatever it was, the circumstances surrounding my time in Lancaster created an inner atmosphere ripe for deep thoughts and "heart-to-heart with God" time. Brent's words came to mind again, and I began to wonder about purpose and direction.

Sometime during those two weeks I pulled out my concordance and began a study on rest. I didn't get farther than Gen. 2:2-3, the first mention of rest in Scripture-

"And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation."

I looked up the Hebrew words, looked at context, and read commentary on the subject. Good stuff, but nothing halted me in my steps until I came to Matthew Henry's Commentary:

"The eternal God, though infinitly happy in the enjoyment of Himself, yet took a satisfaction in the work of His own hands. He did not rest, as one weary, but as one well-pleased wiht the instances of His own goodness and the manifestation of His own glory...
He rested on that day and took a complacency in His creatures, and then sanctified it, and appointed us, on that day, to rest and to take a complacency in the Creator..."

I stopped dead in my tracks. To take a complacency? What on earth. Isn't complancy an negative thing? Like, a synonym of mediocrity? This sent my head spinning and my feet running for a dictionary.

- A feeling of contentment, of self-peace
- An instance of contented selff-satisfaction
- A friendly civility
- An inclination to please"

A complacency in self is wrong, and to be avoided, as it is self-centered and rooted in pride. But a complacency in God is a thing to be pursued and cultivated. It is feeling contentment and satisfaction in God Himself, for God Himself. It's the acknowledgement that, when in God's presence, nothing else is necessary for my acceptance, peace, and satisfaction. It is, in essence, God-delight.

Take a complacency in God. Hmmmm. Once again I went back to Brent's words, but as I thought on my current state of being, I wondered if I should even try to figure out or find my dreams. I've spent so much time searching for dreams before; maybe they're just supposed to steep and ruminate and grow inside of me.

There have been periods throughout my life where all of God's direction included pursuit- "For my determined purpose is to know Christ." (Phil. 3:10, Amplified Bible). "I will love You, O Lord, my strength." (Ps. 18:1) "Therefore let us know, let us press on to know the Lord." (Mal. 6:3) "And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up." (Ex. 19:20, as opposed to going only part of the way up, or stopping along the way). I am not in such a period now. The only thing I hear is a call to rest- from my Lord, from my parents, from authors in books I'm reading, from wise friends and counselors, and even from my doctor.

Maybe I'm not supposed to find my dreams; maybe my dreams are supposed to find me. Maybe I'm not supposed to pursue God right now; maybe I'm supposed to let God pursue me. Maybe I'm supposed to stop looking for a potential mate and let that man find me. Maybe I'm supposed to stop trying to be who I once was and let God make me into the person He wants me to be.

Maybe these aren't just maybes.