Telling people that you think God speaks to you will get you very strange looks. I imagine that they think you must be hearing voices in your head, so I stay away from the topic. Still, as I was running through my closet the other day, trying to find my winter clothes, it occurred to me that I’ve been very worried lately. It used to be that whenever I have a problem, I tell it to God, tell him it’s now his problem, and never think of it again. It’s how I stay so relaxed even when my world is falling apart. So, the question pushed itself into my mind, “what’s been the problem lately”?
You know, I told God. I’m worried about my grades. I’ve missed as many classes as I’ve attended this semester. You are very kind that I have been doing so well despite that. Yet I worry that the next class I miss will be the important one; that the next exam will be the one I fail. I deserve it. I’ve not worked as hard as I should. I worry that I might lose you because I can’t be bothered to go to church any longer. I know that you would never reject me while I want you, but what if I don’t want you? What if I push you away? What if I completely take leave of my senses and rebel. What if this new-found difficulty to get myself up on Sundays is just the first sign?
If you don’t want me, the thought came, why does the thought of not wanting me upset you?
I laughed. I know that line from one of C S Lewis’ books. Maybe I’m deceiving myself. By telling you that I’m worried about not wanting you, I convince myself that I might want you when I really don’t. I know, I’m probably making this more complicated than it is. But please, I begged, don’t let that happen.
It’s a prayer I say often; that if I were to someday decide that I prefer money or another human or some sort of trifle to God, that he’ll bring me back to my senses. I’ve resolved not to worry about those things anymore, but I’m finding new things to worry about – like my presentation tomorrow. The good news is that every once in a while I come out of my depression-induced cloud and things seem normal. I can pick myself up and go to church or class without even thinking about it. It’s those times that anchor me. They give me hope that this isn’t just me thinking up an excuse to be bad. They tell me that I don’t deserve to fail my classes, that my less than desirable work habits are not my fault – maybe. But it’s that endless cycle. Eventually, everything passes and I’m back in darkness so thick I forget that God is there with me.