Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Burning

The most satisfying thing I've done in the past week was when I destroyed my journal from last spring. (The title of this is misleading--it's only a notebook, and I didn't actually burn it, but still.)

Actually, I've been thinking a lot about this one. You have to realize that this journal was my LIFE last semester. I filled every single page of it, front and back. A lot of it was very incriminating, a lot of very temporal, self-indulgent thoughts about what I want from my future, my plans, my ambitions, my expectations. Most significant is that not too much of it was relevant past the end of last semester. There was a lot of sentimentality, a lot of hyper-emotionalism, a lot of reading into things.

Really, I wanted to destroy it last semester. The final page read, "But I must rid myself of all of these writings. What do I do with it all? Burn it? Destroy it. Bury it. I don't think I want it to resurface ever. OVER. Let it be so. [I'm so dramatic!] ...Then again, I won't destroy it all. Maybe I'll look back someday and laugh...or learn." So I kept it. I frequently read through my journals (that's the point, right? to read what you've written?) and I often laugh and learn from my own foolishness. But I continued to hold on to this journal mostly because I thought God was still teaching me things through it.

Here's the satisfying part: On Tuesday, I had a relapse. I was inclining towards all the foolishness I used to write in that blasted orange journal. I was praying, "God, I thought I was over this? I thought I learned this lesson? I thought you brought me past that immaturity?" And it was humbling. I realized that He will never finish teaching me some things and my will must constantly align itself with His own.

But in a moment of despair, I was praying and writing and thinking and He gave me the most overwhelming sense of trust in Him. And not only trust in Him, but confidence in myself and the woman He is making me to be. "True victory over self is the victory of God in the man, not of the man alone." And I did something I never really believed I would do--I went through my neon orange journal with that Thoreau quote over the front, and I started ripping out pages. I ripped out the old self that is slowly disappearing into Himself. I left intact the pages where I actually relied upon my God, the prayers where my focus was on Him and His glory.

It's a transformation and a breakdown that I see in my own life. Realize, though--it's none of my doing. I've learned that transformation comes not from seeking something new but by seeking Him more and more. MacDonald said something in Lilith that speaks to this in a round-about way: "You know nothing about whereness. The only way to come to know where you are is to begin to make yourself at home." You'll never be home until you realize that your Home isn't on the earth, is nowhere to be found...until you start looking right where you are, where He is working in you.

It's brilliant.

No comments:

Post a Comment