Man, sometimes it feels so good to drink some wine and be a person. We take on so many roles; mother, father, employee, boss, student, daughter, wife. We get caught up in the expectations of it all, and sometimes it takes a glass or two of wine to remember that we’re a person with feelings and dreams. There is a part of me that just wants to run wild. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want to live the white picket fence life. I want to break the rules and live a fantastic, adventurous existence. This is something I’ve contemplated often. Much of Christianity is following rules, right? So much of what’s expected of us as husband or wife is denying the natural impulses of man. Being a parent mostly entails denying yourself and your own needs. So how do we feed this part of ourselves that’s dying for adventure and life? How do we acknowledge and cultivate that part of our beings in a mundane, monotoneous world? I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
Sometimes days or weeks will fly by and I realize I haven’t stopped to just live. I’m so busy surviving that I’m not living! I hate that feeling. I hate feeling like a robot who just obeys commands and doesn’t think for itself. At times when I’ve awakened from my robotic slumber I panic. I ask questions like “what am I doing with my life? What’s the point of it all?” When we go so long without drinking in something that truly satisfies our souls, we begin to feel parched and hopeless. We question the decisions we’ve made and the place we’ve ended up. “Am I in the right job? Am I with the right person? Should I be doing more with my life?” It’s times like these that I especially enjoy the small things–drinking a glass of wine at the end of a long, hard day. Listening to music or watching a touching moive. We need to do something that connects with our souls and makes us feel human again.
Last Friday W and I went to a concert at the Ryman, and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt in the midst of all the stress and change to just stop, rest, and listen to the music. Music and art, really anything beautiful, is like an arrow that shoots straight to the core of a person. I just cried as I listened to them play the first song. And you know what’s cool, we can be this arrow, this breath of fresh air for other people. I like to make them laugh, or just genuinely listen as they talk about themselves. I know a real conversation with someone can wipe away the dust of daily living that slowly builds up around me. My shrink told me that he thinks one of my biggest struggles will be to remain content even amidst the monotony of life. I get restless. I start dreaming of bigger and better things, or at least things my mind has tricked me into thinking are better.
The truth is that we were made for better things. We weren’t made for this life. This world is not our home. I believe as long as we’re living we will have an ache inside that’s never fully satisfied. You know what I mean. Even at the best of times we feel it. Just a knowing, and a hope, that there has to be more. Right? You know in you’re heart that you are a wild creature. We need something else. Someone else. We can catch glimpses of Him, and in those moments our souls are the most alive. Sometimes it takes pain to make us feel alive. Some of the most painful moments of my life have also been the most fulfilling. When we suffer we suffer with Christ. He is looking for a friend, someone who will stay awake in the garden with Him. Our suffering tethers our soul to His and we catch a glimps of reality.
It’s tempting to fill the void with other things, things that don’t really satisfy. I’m sure that we all have stories of the myriad of ways we do it. This life is a struggle, there’s no doubt about it. But I live for the moments when I come alive, when I feel the most human. Humanity is a gift–it’s something God loves. Our rebel spurrs us toward it, teaches us how to become people again. Let us add some oil to the creaky gears of our spirits. Let us find things in life that awaken our souls.
And to that, I will pour another glass.