The seminary is not always a pleasant place to stay. Our littleness and our inabilities usually come to the surface when we are left alone. As it says, ‘Who can sit still while the mud settles?’ Prayer itself can be a hard experience. I sit here and listening and what do I hear? Nothing but my own agitation. There isn’t a book on prayer among any of the books I borrowed from the library, yet everyone in them prays! I need to take some lessons or something…
I wanted more time here, so I spent last night alone. Read some; take a nap, sat in silence: nothing! Tried to pray! Must I pray for the grace to pray? Again I feel the frustration of my feeble attempts to communicate with Him. It’s a one-way street.
I keep expecting something yet I wonder if I’m wasting my time. It seems so unproductive- all these days, and now a night, in solitude. No way to evaluate my growth, if there is any. I seem to lost my way or hit a plateau. Something is going on inside, but I certainly don’t seem to be going anywhere. How hard it is to “sit quietly while the mud settles”. And this morning I awoke with a sore back and stiff neck.
If I want to continue the quest, that means I must learn to be a wrestler. I need to wrestle the important questions in my life. I have to wrestle with in my self and I must wrestle with God as well. And when I do, I will end up as I did this morning- with a sore back and a stiff neck.
I can’t wrestle God or confront the way I live with what I believe without being wounded, as Jacob was in the Bible. But the point is that these days, are time of great change. One must face the moral conflicts of the day and continue on an honest quest for happiness. If we are faithful to our times of silence, we will hear the voice within that calls us to truth. Even if all the rest of the world denies it, we will have the courage to live out what our conscience tells us the truth.
I had made it such a heavy problem; it seems so easy, though perhaps living it out will require effort. But at least I now have the solution to work toward. Day has ended, and I feel much better. I will try to trust that all my life is prayer.