Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom!

The most frustrating thing about anxiety, apart from a continual sense of impending doom, is the feeling of being disconnected from everything. You feel like you're on a space walk. You look at things that you want to have a connection with such as your home, town, and neighborhood, and all you get is this sense of "It all could be gone tomorrow, so don't get too attached to it."

A wise sage told me, "Don't love stuff that can't love you back."

Scripture essentially tells us the same thing. " Don't love the things of this world", and " Do not store up wealth where moth and rust can destroy it". I get all that. I have a basic loathing of stuff.

(Not true. I love guitars. I'm a hack player, but I love the ability to express myself through music.)

I hate clutter. I hate miscellaneous piles. That junk drawer everyone has ( I have it too) drives me crazy. My form of cleaning is just throwing stuff away. I particularly can't stand the toys from Happy Meals. They seem to grow and multiply like tribbles (old Star Trek ref). I chuck them without discrimination.

But I regress. . . .

I live in this tension of being a parent who wants to create security and predictability for my children, even though I know, or at least feel, likes it's an illusion.

I'm 40. I just moved three states away after having lived in Chicago for 18 years, took a beating in the housing market, moved to a new town, and started a new job. While the new town, home, and job are great, its all different. This has produced some anxiety.

I used to wake up and wonder, "God, why would you allow me to experience so much anxiety and allow me to feel so weak?" Then I faced reality, and recognized the facts of my life for the past 12 months. Actually the past 4 years have been cooky.

While they're not horrific, they are anxiety producing. Moving alone is the 2nd most stressful event in a person's life, next to loosing a spouse. Working in an environment that was under constant change and churn produced emotional instability. Loosing a lot of money in a market that seemed destined only to increase pulled a rug out from under many of us.

When God wanted to get people's attention, what did he do? He moved them, from a land that is not their own. He moved me. He's got my attention.

The disconnect is not so bad now. I can look at things and enjoy them for what they are and are not. I can drive down the streets of my town and be thankful for where God has placed me.

What has been the gift of the anxiety and feeling disconnected? The desperate need to be connected to God and people. I don't think I have have ever been more aware of my need for God's presence in my life, and been so aware of other people's need to feel connected. Good thing I'm the Director of Adult Connections. The guy in charge of it at a church is in desperate need of it himself.

Anxiety produced a feeling of disconnection, but what it has shown me is that my trust and security were in connections that couldn't produce security and predictability. Only God can do that. I trusted in a system that was faulty. I stored up treasure in things that proved rusty.

Do you think God had this all planned out? Do you think He is even shocked by what I am typing right now? Nope. I might be, and it freaks me out from time to time, but I am able to rest in the fact that God has this worked out. As long as I am tethered to the ship (God), I'm in good shape.