sixteen/seventeen

The Sound of Music was one of my favourite films growing up. I must have watched it once or twice a week, every single week for the first 6 years of my life, at my grandparents’ house. I invariably ended up falling asleep somewhere just before or just after (spoiler alert) (but seriously, if you haven’t watched this movie you need to watch it) Maria & the Captain get married. The year I turned 7, real life imposed itself on my movie-watching life in the form of primary school, and thus ended my weekly appointment with Maria and all those songs which had become my friends. But a great love like that never really ends; it simply continues to live on in memory. And for some reason, this week those old friends of mine have been dancing around my head every other day or so.

Perhaps it’s because my thoughts are currently in a mess. I know this because, despite my best efforts, I sped all the way home from Nativity church – that’s a very long way – even though I promised Jesus I would be more responsible with my driving from now on.  I hope writing will help to sort them out, but right now it feels like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down, as those good sisters sang.

How do you solve a problem like Maria? Today I feel exactly like that – like a problem that needs solving rather than a person who is lovable in all her idiosyncrasies. Maybe it isn’t the best time to dwell on a movie in which a girl seeks God, and He leads her against all odds on a crazy adventure which ends up with her finding her soulmate in a most unlikely man. It almost makes me feel like, if only I could seek God with a pure heart, He would “reward” me by giving me a soulmate. A real human person, in the flesh. Almost. Right now, just to remember that I am a normal person who can interact normally with other people is already an effort, much less trying to believe that it’s possible to meet a person who might qualify as soulmate.

Am I just projecting my longing for God onto people? I’ve written and spoken many times before about that deep longing in every person’s heart that can only be filled by God. But that’s also a longing that will never be fully satisfied in this human life. And what about the desire for companionship, the desire to be seen, to be known, to be understood, in this life and by someone other than God, someone whom I can in turn learn to see, to know and to understand? Tonight I cannot make sense of this. Am I expecting something of a person that only God can give me? Am I asking too much – should it not be enough that my Creator sees me, knows me, loves me deeply? Tonight, Jesus, it just doesn’t feel enough. And that thought, of feeling like Jesus is not enough for me, in turn fills me with such guilt, regret and despair that I don’t know what to do with myself.

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