Life May Be Good But It Still Sucks Too.

Can we all stop being pretentious about life for at least a moment or two? I really like the “Life is Good” t-shirts, hats, wheel covers, tooth brushes, toilet paper, etc. but you know what?

Sometimes life sucks.
Maybe it is just an hour, or a day, a week. It might even be more than this...maybe a year? I know some of you may feel the need to cheer me up but please don’t.  I am not having one of those days.  I am actually doing pretty good as I sit in a college student center, drinking coffee and writing. I am writing...a lot, even if not on my blog.  I’ve got a couple of book projects underway and our team for the Georgia Five Day Academy For Spiritual Formation is working on our plans for the event (which I am super excited about and hope you’ll take a look)!

But I have also been doing a lot of reading and listening to other’s stories.  I see my own kids’ lives and my heart breaks even as they are growing and getting their feet under them.  But the reality is still there: sometimes life sucks.  It sucks that their mom will not be physically and emotionally present with them for the many things life has in store for them.  That sucks.

Just because life sucks, does not mean there are not takeaways.  This is what journaling and blogging help me with.  They give me something to look back on, a “plumbline” if you will.  I can measure my life against my life - because life is not a competition with anyone else - it is mine. I get to determine what I measure myself against.  So do you.

I want to share the “money-quote” I came across this weekend especially since everyone is so obsessive about our politicians right now: “Don’t be a politician. Be a human who can admit he changed his mind."  That observation by author Matt Rudinsky is concise and to the point: we get to change.  Journaling allows you see that in yourself, mark it, consider why, and empower you to go forward even when life is not going your way.

Journeying through the Valley of Suck, I have been marking that change in me through my journal and if you follow me, here in my blog too.  And for the record, I do have a few other measures to help mark my journey, and one of those is Scripture.  During this time I’ve been able to consider Biblical texts which I had not done before: Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Psalms. It is not that I hadn’t READ them, but HOW I READ has changed.  These books are real now in a sense they had not been before.

I thank God (literally) the Bible was written by so many different people because these voices serve to balance out the human spiritual experience, IF you choose to look at it that way.  These texts (and others) point out a transparency that seems to be easily overlooked or maybe dismissed without giving them their due.  When I read them, I see the evidence that God understands that life does suck at times.

Look, I have my temper-tantrums. I support pity-parties when you need them (see my blog on that one). But this goes with my belief I am still growing.  I am human and I can admit I can and many times, need to change my mind.  So this week, I’m praying:

“Gracious God, be patient with me, foolish child that I am.”

One day I hope to grow up.  And even though the valley of suck still sucks, I’m also thankful my kids still have one parent even if it is me, foolish child that I am.

MAY I ASK? How have you grown or what have you learned in your valley of suck?

Image used with permission:


Susan Preece said...

If we are willing to LISTEN and be open to learning, God will continue to speak to us and give us new life. I have written a blog that responds with where I am. I feel like I need to apologize for you and your families pain and suffering for I have gained so much spiritual renewal from your sharing. Lord, have mercy.

Jedi Pastor Ken said...

Thank you for sharing Susan! Yes, God will speak but the practice of stillness and listening is so hard to do. I've got another blog coming up on some of this next.

And no apologies. God will work all things for good BUT it might not be right away for us and it will be good for others. If God is using this all for good elsewhere than our lives right now, then I'll take that. In time, God's grace will prevail in our lives too.

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