When last I spoke to you, dear Word Press – I was celebrating a relatively important milestone in my life. Together, we celebrated and regaled the shedding of 50 pounds of unhealthiness. Together, we sat on the mountain surveying all that we had conquered together. All 217 pounds of us.
And then stuff started hitting the fan.
I didn’t get to tell you how someone had pulled close enough to my house to load a fifty four inch lawn tractor into their vehicle and steal away into the night. I never really got to share how disturbing it was for me, as a man, to know that someone with less than saintly intentions came so close to what was most precious to me in the heart of the night.
I didn’t get to tell you how everything electronic in my home office decided that it people in Libya could rebel – then computer components could as well. How in the middle of the most important four hours of my life (business wise) my computer locked up. How when you start with 90 potential customers watching you, and finish with 14 after the fifth computer crash you start to doubt certain things about yourself, your faith, and your life.
I didn’t get to tell you how here, at my critical 217 pounds, in the midst of the worst three weeks I can put together in recent memory – my eating habits have absolutely fallen apart. How you can be more disappointed in yourself than someone else can be, as you replay the eating and drinking of entire packages of things. How you can be so scared of weighing yourself – that one more thing “gone wrong” could send you over the edge of depression. So you don’t weigh yourself. You convince yourself that you’ll put it together over the next week – have some kind of one-on-one intervention, and pull your plane out of its stall before you crash. And you sit and stare at the guilt monster you’ve made, staring back at you.
Mix in things like not knowing if your tax bill will be $30,000 or $3,000, and your oldest child vomiting Hebrew National’s like “Ole’ Faithful” just 60 seconds from your driveway. Toss in another sales webinar one week later with “only” 2 computer crashes mid-stream and another eating binge for good measure. Shake – don’t stir. Rinse wash repeat.
In 2 weeks, I will be forty years old. 14,600 days + 9 months alive. Old enough to watch shows like “Men of a certain age” on television, and get most of the jokes….old enough to wince with painful knowing-ness when the lead characters confess their geyser sins and shortcomings.
I’m not particularly upset about being 40. It’s just a number. But in some sense, I can’t help but wonder if what I’m experiencing now is a shifting internally from one season of my life to another. An ice-age-ending-where’d-all-the-wooly-mammoths-go shift. I can’t help but feel the gentle hands of my creator stretching me emotionally and spiritually like my trainer stretches me physically – so in the breaking of me there will be a rebuilding of me. Sorrow, followed by strength. A deeper, quieter strength.
I’m thinking a lot, lately. Too much, I think. The kind of thinking that takes me far away and interrupts things that should require no thought. Melancholic thoughts. Job and work thoughts. Big picture Am-I-Doing-What-He’s-Called-Me-To-Do thoughts. Mental balance sheets are shifting and sorting as we speak. Nearly uncontrollably.
And maybe that’s okay. I’m coming to savor the process, actually.
In an email exchange a week or so ago, a friend of mine predicated an invite to a discussion with a group of other men by warning them that I could be “long winded”. I don’t think it affected me much at the time, but in light of recent weeks I wonder rhetorically if most men my age are too “short winded”. For I find a cathartic healing in the sharing of and re-reading of my thoughts and faults and sins and shortcomings. In scripture, we’re admonished to “confess your sins to one and other”. To one and other. Show my little pink underbelly, stuff. There’s a disturbingly low ratio of Facebook men to women, if you check your friend lists and respective posts. I think about that, a lot.
All of that to say that I think my best defense in this emotional valley – is a long winded offense. A thousand-words-or-less-outpatient-program. When I’m not sharing, or writing, or confessing – I’m holed up and bogged down and retreating…not advancing.
I’m writing myself an emotional prescription today. I’m going to make the next 7 days less about me, and more about others and their needs. And internally, I’m going to wait for the spiritual push-up set to end and trust that the God-Man who took the nails in His hands for my sin debt knows what He’s doing. No fake smiles. No unnatural facades. More of an honest observation of the process as I seek to learn what I’m supposed to see while I’m here – now.
Physically, I weigh 221.8 pounds this morning. I am 4 pounds above my lowest low, and 13 pounds from being de-classified as “obese”.
Emotionally, I weigh 1000 pounds this morning. I am below my lowest low. Brave face and funny guy facade aside. There’s not much left in the tank.
But when I am weakest, He is strongest. If I truly believe that, than the greatest moments of my life are waiting to be born, just around the temporal corner. The most miraculous events are a stone’s throw away from this Word Press blog entry. Stone rolled away to reveal an empty tomb, stuff. But only if I’m dissatisfied with being comfortable. Only if I’m willing to live an “interrupted” life….
Maybe. But there it is. And here I go.