Tuesday, August 26, 2008

do you ever feel guilty about getting "let down?"

like if something didn't turn out as you expected, and you feel super frustrated or let down about it...

that friend you love didn't come back to school this year, and you start missing his/her presence in your life--no matter how "big" or "small" it was?

or you don't have that class with your good friend like you wanted...or you don't really know that many people in your classes period...

this all seems so "trivial" but its been getting to me today. I don't know why, but i've been feeling "let down."

On another level, things are also looking very UP. ALL of my classes look good, even systematic theology (though, if i had to choose it, along with lifetime fitness, would be the 'lesser' of the classes i'm excited about).

in each of the following:
Old Testmant Biblical Theology (from now on "OTBT")
Monster Lit.
Minor Prophets

i think my mouth came open at least a few times...i got shivers or goose bumps at least once...and had the thought "please, don't stop talking!" during the introduction lecture(s). Pretty incredible. Pretty encouraging. I feel very satisfied with my course load this semester. it'sa beast, that's for sure. 24 credits with my audit and my independent study class. The whole semester is packed full of thick reading and heavy papers. It's a challenge, though, which I handle better than none. We'll see how it turns out. right now I am feeling weirdly let down, overloaded, and mysteriously excited. DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE???

I have no idea what to expect this semester.

1 comment:

M. Perkins said...

Dr. Gamble, of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, told a brief story last semester about meeting one his pastors back in the day who, I think, didn't an article published that he'd put his heart into... at the end Gamble said something like, "Well, it's all in God's will," a true statement generally bandied about flippantly. His pastor said quietly, "Richard, I know it's God's will. I can grieve and even be disappointed with God's will for a time."

I think the part in Perelandra about the good given v the one expected is good and true, but a bit dangerous. God isn't a program, so if we do everything right we can still be hurt. And the things that hurt us mostly don't line up in a nicely rational order (i/e the "objectively" important things often don't matter most and so on... but since humans never experience such a thing as the objective, who cares?).

I don't think you need to rationalize or excuse sadness and disappointment, nor do I think such things are automatically a sign of rejecting the will of God. Pain can be inscrutable, like our God.... and even were it, erm, scrutable, that would not always help. That's okay. I think when sadness and disappointment become a wallowing despair and anger, you're in trouble. Till then, remember that shame is from below.