On drives down to the Stallings' farm, Emmett and I would use the down time to catch up and reconnect. While there we'd spend time with the family, pick blueberries, visit the waterfall, and feed the catfish off the dock. When we'd dump the bag of food into the lake, the catfish would surface in massive groups, flipping the water until the dock around the lake appeared to boil. We'd look for the albino catfish and point out particularly big or small ones, leaning against the rail in the casual attitude you would expect from good company.
Monday morning neither Quinn nor I were ready to start the week. When we got to the bus stop, he wanted to be held so he pawed at me like a badly trained dog until I complied. Wrapping his arms and legs around me, he tucked his head into my neck and bemoaned the prospect of having to leave for even a single moment. Later that morning, I mentally put myself into that same posture in God's arms, expressing the same desire to hide there forever.
While the furnace of life has ramped up around me these past couple weeks, I have been circumstantially forced out of fellowship and taken up residence inside my own head, which is a rather nasty place to spend time. I was finally able to break through this week and spend time with a few lovely ladies, and as the fresh air hit my soul, I suddenly realized how stinky it was inside. I have been secretly cherishing and feeding the roots of temptation. Though I've managed to not sin in large ways, my grumpiness, lack of patience, and ungracious spirit testify to the growing bitterness in my heart. I was sitting with a friend yesterday morning, the type of person you can air all your dirty laundry with and she knows exactly what you're talking about and manages to make you feel better while simultaneously wanting to be better. Love those friends.
She was talking about how just driving in the car you can get 10 minutes down the road before you realize your mind has run away with some crazy thought process. And I thought, "That's it! That's exactly what I do!" In less than ten minutes I can derail my thoughts so completely that even I don't know how it happened. I found myself praying at one point this week, "Can you give me a lobotomy, God. This is ridiculous. Seriously. How am I supposed to get anywhere with this kind of mess going on in my head?"
Of course God ever so graciously replies, "I mean, that's what I've been trying to tell you for, well, you're whole life."
And though I keep asking God to hurry up the process, with infinitely tender patience, he continues to refuse my requests because, as he says, "I'm trying to make you holy, not kill you... yet."
And I feel like I'm on the dock at the farm with God this time, watching my little catfish thoughts in their tumultuous quest for food. Except when we point out an ugly one or a large one or a tasty looking one, instead of just remarking on it, God wants me to jump in and wrestle it into submission. Except, I'm not really that into wrestling catfish.