I seem to be stuck on a theme like a broken record. Seriously, somebody slap me.
Jonah 2: 7-9
“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”
It's just that lately I seem to feel like raspberries pressed through a sieve to remove the seeds before making jam. When David says in Psalm 139 that "You have laid your hand upon me," that doesn't strike me as a gentle pat on the back, more like a Jedi death grip.
Embarking on some projects Emmett and I had been planning for years seemed like a good way to move forward, but the resulting chaos in my house has unearthed a similar chaos in my spirit. This past weekend it looked like a library had vomited in my living room as I pulled more than a dozen boxes of books and began sorting them and putting them on bookshelves. As I sorted and stacked and talked myself into getting rid of books I'd never read again, I could feel the tension mounting. I kept telling myself over and over that it always gets messier before it gets cleaner. At some point I caught myself saying it aloud like some crazy mental patient wandering the hallway so I decided to send myself to bed before things got really crazy.
I did come across one book that I read over a decade ago in a Bible study with friend. I don't remember much of the book, but I love the title: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, by Eugene Peterson. The title pretty much sums it up, a long, long, long obedience in the same direction while perseverance finishes its work in me so that I might be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
But man am I tired.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. My parenting strategy this morning for dealing with a whiny Quinn was to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers until he found me. Apparently it worked because he behaved well for the rest of the morning. My teaching strategy was to give a very long lab for the kids to complete while listening to Snacktime, which may or may not have digressed into watching Silly Songs with Larry for the last 10 minutes of class. For lunch today I had highly processed chocolate chip cookies and greasy potato chips with a tootsie roll pop for dessert just because I could.
So when Jonah talks about sinking down into the water and having seaweed wrapped around his head before he FINALLY understands, I think I can relate. I feel like grief is making a sushi roll out of me and I'm hanging out until a big fish comes to swallow me. And maybe if I'm lucky I will be in the Veggie Tales version of the story where a gospel choir sings to me in the belly of the fish. Who knows? It could happen.