I went to Bible Study tonight. It was the first time I’ve made it all year; albeit, we are barely into February & tonight was just the third session. I’m not as much of a slacker as I sounded like just then.
Anyway, the reading was about how David requested to build a temple on behalf of the Lord & the Lord refused. During the small group session, we answered a set of question related to the readings: some were personal & relate to life while others were more academic to the readings. Well, as usual, I hadn’t done the readings but–taking a well respected friend’s advice, I wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of my spiritual journey. When it comes down to it, we all put into an effort whatever we can; some give more, some get less: but he hope is, it’s worthwhile for all of us.
The question arose: Have you ever in your own life experienced a situation when God’s answer to your prayer was know? And how did you learn from that experience?
Although I hadn’t done the reading, the question struck a cord in me. I immediately knew that I had to contribute. It was God’s will. Although the topic was personal, & even downright embarrassing to be blunt, I felt called to share my experience.
And so, setting aside the fact that I had neither attended the study with commitment nor committed to the reading, I raised my hand as if chosen to speak.
As the words ushered forth, they sounded foreign to me, although the thoughts had lurked silently beneath my surface all along. “I once prayed for a woman’s love (Once is a humorous understatement). I thought that my life was empty & meaningless without her; & that winning her love would in one well swoop validate my life.”
Ignoring how much of a loser I had just rendered myself by such an admission, I blocked out the shame & faced the intense looks on the faces of men in our discussion circle. “After God denied my request, I spent a great deal of time alone & emotionally defeated . . . but not defeated.”
After I pause, I mustered the courage to confess, “God was right to have denied me love at that time in my life. Because I wanted it to happen for all the wrong reasons. It really wouldn’t have been about love.”
Other men felt the need to chirp in their statements on consolation, but I, the student who hadn’t done my reading, was not yet done. “I wasn’t ready for the blessing of love,” I concluded.
While all this was true, & I felt true pain & vulnerability in acknowledging my weakness before this crowd of men, the humor wasn’t lost on me: the humor that this scenario had occurred in my life so frequently, that I hadn’t even settled on a particular woman to pin this particular story on. The name or year or any other “specific” was truly of little consequence because my sad ballad had way more to do with me than any of them. In the end, I truly summed it up. I hadn’t been ready; and God, in all his wisdom, knew that.
Hopefully, from the disappointment . . . er, uh . . . disappointmentS . . . of the sorrow I shared; that denial of God’s divine blessing—that burden of sorrow, a temple of righteous & meaningful triumph will eventually emerge in my life. And not to show the world or to prove or this person or that that I belong; but simply, as a logical progression to a process that has gained traction over years of being stuck in neutral. Wow. Who said you have to do your homework in order to benefit from class? Maybe it is true what I’ve heard: 90 percent of life is being present.