This story begins with a confession. That confession is that in my life I have been a videogamer. Not just like, a guy who likes video games. My brother and I played so frequently and obsessively that my parents came to call the TV room in which we played "The Hole," or "The Pit." I would secretly give thanks in college for being freed from the obsession. And then I would come back home and some shiny new game would be there, and gee, well, I'd just HAVE to try it. Occasionally I tried using the nicotine patch equivalent and would look at youtube videos in order to both feel satisfied but not consume all of my life. This was a failure. Most recent failure: viewing Final Fantasy XIII's storyline in its entirety via YouTube. I wasted so much of my life, so many waking hours. Sure, I did other stuff at the same time, but that's a lot of time spent sitting in a bad posture in front of my laptop. Yuck. If that weren't recompense enough, there's a terrible repercussion: The theme of the video game is "My Hands" by Leona Lewis, and it is irrevocably stuck in my head. I have played it on repeat. I think this is tantamount to handing over one of my "man cards", if we were to speak in Scrubs lingo.
As a small tangent, TVShack.net was seized by the federal government. This is very good news. Now I can't watch movies or tv shows with the same frequency. God's got my back. Or at least the very protective Federal Government of the USA. Thank you for saving me from myself. Ish.
Okay, point being, that song. Yes, I am going to discuss this song, at least in brief at the beginning. It's about recovering from a breakup or parting of some sort, essentially, and how everything's gonna work out, and then just having a day when that all falls apart, how there's just some part that can't let go, that keeps you stuck. I think that might be why the song stuck in my head.
There was a point between sophomore and junior year of college (so yeah, summer) when I was lying in bed, that a whole bunch of questions flooded into my head. I kept on asking, "Well, why this?" and an answer surged from within, "So that this might happen." "Yes, well, why that?" "For the sake of this." "And why is that important?" I felt like it was God actually telling me why He had said "no" explicitly to a question I had asked while in the Adoration Chapel earlier that year. And at that point, I finally just felt fed up, and said, "Dude, God, this is too much. What point and purpose? Be clear and precise with me. I want to know your intentions. You know what? No, no I don't. It comes down to trusting, and I don't trust you, Lord." And it was like I broke up with Him.
That moment right there. I mean, maybe it had been coming for a while. I would have small temper tantrums in the intimacy and privacy of that chapel, saying, "Okay," and "Thy will be done," and biting my lip and feeling miserable. I finally snapped. I aid what I felt. And then I felt disconnected. It was like the phone receiver had been pushed down, or that in the middle of a very important discussion via skype, the connection died. It was that instantaneous. I wish that it had been just as ephemeral. I needed to say it. I needed to come to the point where I knew where I was instead of lying to myself. But after discovering where one truly is, there are a few options: do you stay and work on it or do you cut it and go a new direction? I opted for the latter. I decided to do what I wanted and God could help out if He wanted to, but I wanted Him to be helping ME out in the way I wanted Him to. I don't even think I know that I opted for that path, but it was nevertheless the path I chose. Whatever noble reasons I gave for finally grunting the words "Romantic relationship...I'm interested," that one day at the beginning of October 2007 (my eloquence in and of itself an indication that I was not moving in the Spirit), they were rationalizations. It was what I wanted to do. Was it was I should've done? I knew, I KNEW, deep down, that it wasn't. But something urged me to do it, and I gave in, and I wanted to blame the disconnected, treacherous God that I had painted in my mind as the guy responsible. He made me ask, He made her love Him in such a way as to prevent the relationship I thought I wanted. He was the guy that was responsible for the next semester or so being so painful as a result. And He stood there and suffered the abuse, stood there with arms wide open, waiting and hoping that maybe I'd let myself fall into His arms, let His blood and His suffering wash over me and assure me that He loved and loves me, and I...I wounded Him more. I broke His heart and hardened my own. And you know why? Because deep down, I knew He was right and I was wrong, and I didn't like that.
I would joke about it, I would laugh and say how I was over it, and God became a distant entity in my life. I knew that prayer was important, that I needed time to reflect, but it always was so hollow, because...well, because of the post break-up tension, I guess. There have been moments of incredible beauty regardless, I have been allowed insight, and like the genuine good guy, He's always willing to lend a hand when I need it. Regardless, I've been trying to be a Christian and be a functional athiest at the same time. Or profess my belief in a God, Father Almighty and then go contrary to that, placing limits on what God could do in my life.
And it's in the moments that I thought that I was getting away with it, that things were really looking up, that I would get involved in my life as I knew it, that I would be gripped deep, deep, deep in my being. Every time I try to deny how much I care, how much I need, how central He is to me, it leaves me broken-hearted, hearing the Psalms of Individual Lament and letting out a silent sob. I am afraid to trust God. I am afraid to put everything, everything, EVERYTHING in His hands, to say, about the things that are the most important, the things that stand to hurt the most, the things I invest the most in, and place them with full confidence in His hands. When I know that I have personal motives at times, when the people that unto whom I give entirely too much of my trust break my trust, it's hard to belief it when I hear and feel that all that He's ever wanted is that I have life and have it in abundance. It makes more sense, from my defensive point of view, to err on the side of caution and try to go it alone.
But...well, my heart keeps getting in the way. I cannot dare to not dare. Or die trying. I'm delusional to think that I don't need that love. I'm crazy to think I can find happiness outside of what is true and enduring beyond my limited and insignificant being. To try and put something else as my first love could never, ever make me happy or content. But just to think of Him as my first love, the truest one, the one who is the reason for the others' existence, and the one to whom the others point me (and thusly give me cause to love them), the reference for it all...that's one thing that washes me with bliss. And gives me peace. And gives me resolve.
Oh, yeah, the breakup reference was to God, nobody else.