Sunday, March 17, 2013

what we learn when we're alone


So much of my life is spent in sitting alone in my car waiting - 

waiting in traffic. 

Waiting to meet friends, waiting for work to start, waiting for practice, or class, or a show. 

Waiting.

I spend a lot of time alone here in Los Angeles. Wandering through familiar streets, sitting and reading and thinking until my brain feels like it's going to explode with the dizzying amount of thoughts that fill it up. I also spend a lot of time with friends, with coworkers, with my church but it is sometimes in these moments of being alone that I learn and think and wade through the complete mess that is myself. 

Being alone is a little scary. I like to go go GO and then when I'm at rest, I freak out. I can't shut my thoughts off. They all hit me hard and fast and it's so consuming.

I need more money.

I hate Sallie Mae.

Why doesn't Narnia exist.

I should work out.

Should I cut my hair?

Why doesn't Narnia exist.

I should write.

I really don't wanna work out.

But I really should lose weight.

Ugh.

I was sitting in my car alone the other day, on the phone with my old Young Life leader. Aren't Young Life leaders the best? Even so many years later, even 3,000 miles away, I can sit in my car and bawl my eyes out to my Young Life leader even though I'm not a high school girl anymore. That's why I love that ministry so much. I was sitting there, crying and pouring all my gunk out and she helped me come to the realization that I'm so distracted by everything that I can't even hear God. And that made me pause.

I can't even HEAR God. And maybe I'm not even listening. Because I'm never sitting still, ever. Even when I'm "alone" I'm not really alone. I'm scrolling through Instagram, I'm texting someone, I'm listening to music, I'm filling my mind with something always at every given moment. 

But oh how I yearn to hear that quiet, still whisper of the Lord! How even amidst my loudness, my joking around and little quips and amidst work and improv and writing and friends - amidst all of this, what my soul yearns for is to hear God. To feel Him, His arms holding me and His love surrounding me. And if I long for that so much, why can't I just sit still and let it consume me? Why can't I truly be alone with God when I'm alone?

I think no matter where we are it might always be hard to stay focused on God, but something about a big city like Los Angeles really makes it difficult. But that's my cry and that's my prayer. That in the middle of this loud and vibrant and WEIRD and strange and scary and amazing city, that I can hear God. That I can hear Him and I can listen to Him. And to know that even when I feel like I'm alone, I'm really not at all. 

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