Thursday, August 16, 2012

on magic tricks, distractions, control.

You know which magic trick I'm talking about.  That one where a slight of hand awes everyone into believing the calm, that one where a big flashy explosion draws their eyes from seeing you hide into a secret compartment, that one where you woo with words and motions and pretty things and shimmery lights.

That one about distractions.
That one about staying very and terribly busy in order to hide the recklessness of a discontent soul.
You know which magic trick I'm talking about.

But, as we all know, that it is just that - a trick - and there's no reality to it.  There's no truth behind it, there's a ploy behind the curtains, there's someone pulling the strings.

And I'm talking about it, because I'm raising my curtains.  I'm adding vulnerability to my honesty, and subtracting tangents from the plain truth.
I have been this one, this busybody dashing from project to agenda to persona.
And (since I'm being honest), I hadn't realized it.  I hadn't realized I've been using my most recent busyness as my slight of hand to distract myself from the mess that is my self.

Story time: those around me observe my knack for organization.  Especially at work.  Systems; order; cleanliness; consistency; lists upon lists; labels (oh don't get me started on our new label maker).  And there is something I've known and pointed out about myself, that, more than half the time, when things don't make sense inside me, making sense of things around me is my consolation.  At least some things are in order.

Call it my ultimate mental distraction.  Call it my struggle to let go of control.

That's the funny thing about magicians.  They put on a show, the audience is awed, and whether or not the audience knows how it was done, they know it's not real.  Everyone knows it's not real.  The magician knows it's not real.  But in that moment of being stunning, the magician has things under control.

Most of the time.

What happens when things slip up?  When the latch is not caught, when the ropes are untied, when the rabbit falls asleep?  What happens from there?  What happens when the distractions stop working and everyone can't help but stare at the unravelling secrets?

I ask myself that tonight.
A recent situation is most definitely out of my control, and I can do nothing but pray, and pray fervently.  It hurt my heart and revealed wounds I've either ignored or told myself it was healed.  It happened and it broke me and it shot me into fear, and I don't want to be scared, but I have no control.  I don't know what will happen next, but what is happening is frightful and sorrowful and messy--

Do you know what was my first reaction when it happened?  My first reaction was to clean out my purse and find my organizer.  I threw out receipts and junk and wrote my work schedule for this week.  I made up deadlines for unimportant projects and calculated my budget for the next two weeks.  And my hands shook as I wrote.  And then I dropped everything, dashed into a warm shower, scrubbed my skin and scalp vigorously... and then I cried.  I cried until I was gasping for air.

I am weak.
But He is strong.

There's no such thing as magic.  It's all make believe.  It's fake, it's a trick, it's a lie.  Maybe a white lie, but it's all a lie.  A cover up.  A big, huge, distraction.
All this mumbo jumbo of doing things and putting things into systems and having people think you've got it under control - they're all just covering up the fact that nothing is under control.

I don't need another magic trick.  I do need a miracle.
A miracle: impossible outside of human capabilities, requiring the divine intervention of a powerful God, who is most gracious enough to come beside my weakness and be perfectly strong for me.
A miracle: meaning there is nothing I do except believe with an unshakable faith that my God will come through for me, however He shall, whenever He shall.
A miracle: I control nothing.  I trust Him with everything.

And yes, everyone's eyes are still on me.  Everyone's eyes are on this crazy unravelling situation.  Can't help that people are people, and they watch and they observe, and they criticize to one degree or another.
Good.  Let them watch.
Let them see that I am incapable, that I have nothing to show, that there is nothing but my heart on my sleeves.
And let them see God come through for me.  They don't need a distraction, they just need to see Him, and see that He's got it under control.

I say- let me see it for myself!  Give me eyes of faith!  True faith, complete trust, unquestioned surrender.  I want to see God come through for me.  I want to see Him, I want to see that He has it all under control - because He does, and He is, and He is present, and He is forgiving.
No more magic tricks.  Just miracles.
Just a God of grace.
Just the full truth.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You. Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

- Psalm 73.21-26


ps.  cut me some slack.  you know i wasn't referring to dark magic.

currently listening: "Satisfied by God" (again and again). by Jason Upton

No comments :

Post a Comment