|"I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted|
And gave him a new one, all unspotted..."
It's approaching almost 2 months since my last post. As the weeks went by, things seemed to have almost ground to a halt on this blog, and people have been asking why - over e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and of course, in person. The curious thing was that I myself didn't really have an answer for them.
So I'm sitting down this evening, after what seems like years, to put my thoughts to the keys and sort through out what has been happening to me. And hopefully, to pick up writing again for those who have expressed how much the sharing of my life has meant to them.
A number of things have happened since I penned my thoughts on the road and choice of suffering those two months ago. Perhaps it was the greatest irony that the week after, I was blindsided by news that was difficult to swallow and changed the course of the year. After the initial shock wore off, that more than anything else has taken the last month to get back up from. "What a year this is turning out to be," I remember thinking to myself at the time.
In the course of things, I was reminded of the following poem that I had heard quoted in a talk a long time ago. It quite aptly expresses my thoughts and feelings over the last two months or so.
Do Better Now, My Child
He came to my desk with a quivering lip, the lesson was done.
“Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher? I’ve spoiled this one.”
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted
And into his tired heart I cried,
“Do better now, my child.”
I went to the throne with a trembling heart, the day was done.
“Have you a new day for me, dear Master? I’ve spoiled this one.”
He took my day, all soiled and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted
And into my tired heart he cried,
“Do better now, my child.”
- Kathleen Wheeler
I guess that's how I often feel as I look back on some days and weeks - that I'm looking at soiled and blotted sheets of paper, and wishing I could "get things right." I sometimes feel very much like the little boy in the poem about to burst into tears, having made an effort to do what was asked of me with a clean sheet of paper, but more often than not feeling like I've made a complete mess of things. I tell myself that I need more discipline, more order, more effort, to be more proactive, more efficient, more organized, more attitude, more...No. Please, God. No more. I can't do any "more."
Grace. That's what I need. I really, really need grace.
Trying harder isn't helping much. And like the poem, my body, mind, heart and soul are tired. Tired from trying, failing, falling down and getting back up again, only to go through it again the next day. In the effort to get my life back on track and in the middle of an uncertain time, I find myself like that boy and his teacher, coming to my Heavenly Father at the end of this day with that one question - "Can I have a new day, God?"
I'm not sure how long this time of uncertainty and flux will go on. I find myself really longing for light at the end of the tunnel, for things to return to "normal" again. But then again, what is "normal" in the Christian life? In a way, I guess nothing is. I suppose that's what grace really means - a new sheet from God at the beginning of every day, a new chance as we stumble along the path of sanctification, on the bumpy, twisting road that takes us heavenward.
Have you a new sheet for me, dear God? I've spoilt this one, but I'll leave today where it is and look forward to tomorrow.
- The Wisdom Seeker