This is Jeopardy…
“I’ll take ‘Spiritual Struggles for $1000’ please, Alex.”
“Answer ‘You get silence’”
“Oh – you didn’t ask the right thing!”
“I’m sorry you didn’t phrase the answer in the form of a question.”
Okay, I watch too much Jeopardy. I just never thought my closet game show addiction would ever help me in my relationship with God but, hey, He works with what He’s got in front of Him right?
As I mentioned in my “Spiritual Homework” blog post, when I met with Deacon Ron in February he asked me to read through my writings and look for some common themes. Incessantly searching for answers that I can’t seem to find has become one of my constants. It’s probably the most disturbing thing in my relationship with God. I already deal with trust issues and fear issues in all my relationships. The Almighty Silent Treatment doesn’t help matters any.
As Deacon Ron and I met last week we delved into this Silent Treatment a bit further. He suggested that perhaps instead of seeking answers that I start searching for the questions. Now, I have to say, my initial response to Ron’s statement was a bewildered, “Huh?”
He went on to explain that maybe the reason I’m not finding the answers I’m seeking is because those aren’t the answers that I need. Maybe God is trying to get me to ask an entirely different set of questions.
“Okay, so how do I know what questions to ask?”
Ron’s assignment for me this month is designed to help me figure that out. He told me to sit quietly for a time, be still, then write a list of questions that I feel like I want or need to ask God. Is there enough paper on the planet to cover that? After that I’m supposed to put the list away and “hand it over” to God for a few days. Once I’ve been able to do that, I’m to come back to the list, turn it over and write “Dear Christine,…” and allow God to answer the things He knows I need answered as opposed to the ones I want answered.
Ron also pointed out that there may be questions I’m not ready to ask yet. I know for a fact that if I’m being really honest with myself, there are a few such questions lurking in the darkest hidden corners of my heart.
“And what if I’m not ready? Then what?”
“Then you probably already have the answers my dear.”
Ouch, that stung a bit.
I’m preparing for Palm Sunday and Holy Week and this assignment is tugging fiercely at my soul. As much as I’d like to be “busy” with all the beautiful rituals of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and, finally, the joyous Easter Sunday, I know my soul is being called to enter deeply into quiet time alone with God. If the very Son of God could struggle through His own Agony in the Garden, who am I to try to deny my painful struggle?