Today I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop. Having spent tons of time here over the past year, it feels like home. I know the seats, the smells, the sights, the people. Walking in, I am recognized immediately by the barista, as well as a friend who is here with a few other friends.
I do not feel that I am trusting God on this day.
It took me about 2 hours to get here. I walked out of the house with a plan to sell some old school books at 2nd & Charles, relax at Panara and write a blog post about hiking at a state park yesterday, and overall just taking it easy. I might have headed to my Dad’s to pick up my bike, a really nice Trek Madone that takes me miles away from my home and from my mind, and I will probably call a friend or two still.
But I am not doing this well.
Walking into 2nd & Charles, I found out that it would take an hour for the guy to check in my books, and while I had plenty of time I decided an hour was too long to wait, despite the fact that I could easily spend an hour in a bookstore any day of the week. This was my first mistake, the first problem I responded poorly to. It would have been simple to wait an hour and sell the old textbooks I no longer need, instead I walked out.
I drove to Panara, looking to just check the next item off my list. Traffic was horrendous for a Tuesday, and it took 10 minutes to go about half a mile, and everyone else on the road annoyed me along the way. You know when you get cut off, people brake suddenly, can’t make up their minds and stop in the middle of the road, and overall just drive like doofuses? That was the entire drive.
Pulling into Panara, the parking lot was packed! Not a space free, and cars were circling, waiting for a spot to pull into. Driving down the main line of parking spaces, I made a snap decision that I was not going to Panara today, instead opting to go home, grab a quick lunch, and then I would head to my favorite spot, where the coffee is great but the internet is garbage.
Two trains, red lights, traffic, and being overall just annoyed with every aspect of my journey, I arrived home, walked inside the house, grabbed a bite for lunch and headed back out.
I’m not feeling it today. I’m not sure what “it” is, but I’m not having it. I want it to go away, it really needs to leave me alone. It could die for all I care.
Yesterday was absolutely wonderful, hiking with friends at a state park, and I am sure that the regret of having to be in “real life” today has something to do with my annoyance and frustration.
So I sit where I know the names of everyone who works here, a safe space, a place where I can be a bit annoyed, and share that with someone feeling no judgement. It seems strange to me that the place where I feel most safe is at a local coffee shop. I know there are friends whom I could go to, even calling them up and saying, “I really just need to vent.” They would be there.
I don’t always want to go to friends though, sometimes I just want to slowly let God assuage my soul into peace.
It doesn’t always happen, and that’s OK.
Even my writing today feels choppier, more fragmented, a bit pointless. It’s as if there is a song I’m remembering, a song I know most the words to but simply can’t get to the chorus. Have you ever just sang the verse of a song again and again and again and again and haven’t been able to remember the chorus? It’s like that. There’s something in my soul that I’m trying to point at, and I can’t even identify it myself.
Life is kinda like that. We have something we are all trying to point at, and yet we can’t even identify it ourselves. We only know it is very important. There is nothing more important than this thing, and some of us think we know, but others know that we can’t know. We can’t identify it because it isn’t a thing, it’s an anti-thing. It is an isn’t. It’s the need that is within each of us, the empty kinda feeling that gnaws at us like we know it but at the same time is completely foreign. How do you know a vacuum? There’s nothing to know in it.
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that “[God] has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
Why did God put eternity into our hearts? How did He even manage something like that? I’m a finite being! I have a beginning and an end. Eternity is bounded by no such thing. Why must I long for eternity if I have am chained to time? And we can’t even find it out! How unfair it all seems.
So on this day I am not doing a great job of trusting God. I didn’t trust that I could wait an hour to sell books, nor that the traffic is not effecting me as greatly as my mind would imagine it is. I did not trust enough to stay patient, growling and calling drivers around me names, cursing their very existence in an annoyance caused by thinking my day had to turn out a certain way.
The funniest thing is, I didn’t have a time frame for any of this to happen, and yet I was still very upset. Sometimes I’m just a butt-head, and God loves me anyway. Crazy.