Father? God

I awoke at 4am this morning to rain, and my heart sank. Normally rain brings me great joy, but today I have to meet with a team and go do a summer camp. In order to do that I need to get a taxi, and in Beijing when it rains the taxis disappear. Last night, I prayed intensely hard that it wouldn’t rain until after I got into the city. Before I went to bed, I had a flash thought that said God’s not going to come through because you need this. I dismissed it and went to sleep. And this thought creeps back into my mind as I scramble to figure out how to keep my commitment.

They say that your relationship with your dad effects how you see God. My Father was a physically and emotional abusive narcissist who couldn’t be counted on to come through for his children (people reading this who know my Dad will say I am making this up, but that’s because Dad would drop everything to go help other people and then leave his family hanging).

Donald Miller once said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “with all the all the bad fathers in the world, God’s decision to call himself Father seems like a huge marketing mistake”. I couldn’t agree more. I understand that relationship one has with a friend, or a teacher, or a mentor, or a commanding officer, those relationships would be easy for me to understand the roles played. Calling yourself father and then asking me to trust you is like saying “you’re all alone here and I am most definitely going to let you down when you need me most”.

I struggle with trust on a good day, and on days like today, I am tempted to believe God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. The little things hurt the most because they seem like the easiest to do and that is also where it seems like the ball gets dropped the most. I am tempted to believe that I am all alone and can only depend on myself. I lived most of my teens and early twenties like this, and it didn’t work.

So what am I to do. I woke up this morning, and immediately thanked God for another day. It isn’t the one wanted, but today wasn’t promised to me. When I sit self-pity over the times God didn’t come through, I forget all the times he did come through. Yes, I might have trouble getting a cab, I may even have to have to cancel on a commitment I made, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love me or isn’t watching out for me, it just means I was looking in the wrong direction for him.

I still have a long way to go on understand God as a Father. I may never feel completely comfortable with the word father, the damage is done, and the wounds are still healing. But one thing I do know is that God will still be there, even when I act like a giant jackass (remember he used Balaam’s donkey). So this morning, I am going to go out the door, and wait for a taxi and God to show up.


Sit the $%#& Down

So I am supposedly a writer, but I don’t actually have much output. Writing is hard it doesn’t seem like it should be, but it is. I’ve learned that only an idiot tells people they’re a writer, because when you say “I am writer”, people take that to mean that you actually write stuff and that they can read it.

A friend of mine said that all you’ve got to do is sit down and write (well duh) Normally, I punch someone for a comment as asinine as that, but this particular friend is a musician and songwriter, so he knows that while it is as easy as sitting down and hacking away at the keyboard, it’s not that easy to actually sit down and write.

Take today for example, I have a new time management paradigm and today was the first day I did just about everything on my list, and I was done 10am. The only thing I hadn’t done was write. I decided I’d reward myself, and watch a little tv, do some laundry and go grocery shopping before I sat down to write. I ate lunch and told myself I would start writing at two. Then the power went out at exactly 2pm, they’re remodeling the apartment upstairs and occasionally they kill the power for about an hour. So I knew the power wouldn’t come back on until around 3pm, so I took a nap. The power came back on at 3pm and I sat down at the computer and…. Watched youtube videos until 6pm. Then I took a shower. I didn’t start writing this until right around 7pm.

I don’t know why it is always like this. I have the best of intentions to write and somehow it never materializes. In his book, The war of Art (a book everyone should read whether they’re artistic or not), Steven Pressfield say this is due to resistance. Resistance is the unseen, malevolent force that interrupts our creativity and seeks to silence what good we can bring to the world. Pressfield says: “Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death”. He goes on to say “Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

Hemmingway Said “writing is easy, you just sit down at the typewriter and bleed”. Maybe writing is just sitting down. I have been at for about half an hour and I already have this. Writing or any art is really just about showing up diligently and giving yourself to the work. W. Somerset Maugham was once asked if he wrote on a schedule or just when the inspiration hit, he replied: “I write when the inspiration strikes me, luckily it strike every day at 9am sharp”.

Writing is simply a matter of sitting down. Sitting down is a matter unto itself.