I feel the phoniness circling me again, seducing me with its promise of protective power. It flirts with me while I’m on a conference call, daring me to elevate an expected accomplishment into high art, to offer-up a professional hieroglyph that is both stunning to behold and impossible to decipher.
The pull is irresistible what with so many people around me morphing into survivor zombies. I stare out my open window at the treetops in the neighborhood I love. I want my life, I will admit it. I am grateful for every half-gallon of organic milk in my refrigerator, for every effortless and good thing, for the smell of salt-air as I collect the morning paper, for the warm stillness of my house in the summer dawn, for the vanilla coffee I’ve just brewed. I don’t want any of it to go away. Ever.
I’m on a large tugboat with many others who worry and want while trying to remain true to what we perceive to be our essential natures. Can we plea-bargain for our jobs? Hopefully. And if so, can we resist the pull of emotional gravity that drags us to the lower place? Can we still extend grace to others when we ourselves need it so desperately? In the car on the way to work, I pray, but not the usual prayer, because I know I’m lobbing it to the ultimate CEO, the one who knows I’m full of shit, the one who knows that I’m just a girl, scared and trying to stay on course.
I think of all the imperfect warriors like David, the resistant prophets like Jonah who basically told God to beat it, that somehow found their way back in the saddle. And so this was my prayer: “Lord, I’m not noble, you know I’m scared shitless and cranky, I worry every day that I’m not a good enough mom, wife, daughter, sibling, friend or employee. I worry about my job, about my colleagues’ jobs, blah, blah, blah…Oh wait, you want to say something? What’s that? I can barely hear you…Matthew 25: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Okay, that last one was tough).
Matthew 26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Not me. Not any of us.