On “Decorative Pillows”…vs. a quality Mattress

At the beginning of this year I said, I wrote, and I knew that this year would be a period of growth. I knew that it would be hard, I knew that it would hurt- and I was NOT looking forward to it. And somehow, somewhere in the middle of moving and surgery and graduating, and running in circles I have apparently gotten right back to that same point. I can see the period of growth ahead, and I know it’s going to hurt- but this time I am sincerely looking forward to it- or at least looking forward to how I will feel at the end. As anyone who knows me will attest, I am not a fan of the journey. But as I have been forced to learn for these past few months- when there is a trial waiting for you, a test you have to go through- you can try and “sit out this round” but once you try and get up that hurdle will still be standing in front of you until you pull a Lolo Jones and jump. Or in my case, keep frikin working out and pressing towards some prayer and fasting and stretching until you manage to climb over the hurdle in a year or so. I am not a fan of jumping over things that stand above my waistline. I am a huge fan of preparation. But I think this time I was mostly just procrastinating rather than preparing and learning never works that way. See lessons are like that: Rinse and repeat until the damn stain comes out.

But knowing that intellectually and putting it into practice are two different things, and doesn’t make the bleaching process of the stains any less harsh. That’s why I have to keep on blogging and journalling and writing post-it stickers everywhere to remind me to slow down and inhale it all and live in the present. I am always, have always, lived like 5 years in advance. But this time I knew that to get to where I wanted to be was going to require some pain- and I have no idea how, but I figured out how to put off, avoid, procrastinate the pain…until about a month ago.

I think the trouble with praying, in earnest, for God to remove people from your life he doesn’t want there is that somehow you forget that the process will leave you with fewer friends. Or more accurately, fewer people around you, fewer people to call when you have nothing else to do, fewer small talk conversations, fewer on and off again flirts, fewer Plan Bs. Its like taking all the decorative pillows away and seeing if you really like the mattress underneath. But my mother told me the one piece of furniture not to skimp on is your mattress. There is NOTHING like having a good night’s sleep to clear your mind, to revive you, to help you see things more clearly. And there are few things…though given my current life story I can think of just about all of them, that are more disappointing than a poor night’s sleep. This mattress analogy is becoming more and more apparent during this intern year. Not only because I have begun to prize sleep over all types of things given its precious and rare form when actually in a bed and outside of the hospital, but also because I am being stripped of all my decorative pillows. Because I have so little energy, so little time, so little motivation to give to anything not absolutely necessary in my life, the decorative pillows have got to go.

But me being me- it took prayer and some serious hurt and and act of God to drag the pillows out of my house and on to the Goodwill- where I honestly pray they will be picked up and treasured by someone else. All this 5year planning you see, leave me the kind of person who always has a plan B, C and D before even starting on Plan A. But with this one life, this one body, this one heart, this one soul- there is only one plan that will work. There is only the Mattress- and you had better invest in it, take care of it, put time into looking for it before purchasing or you will be poorly disappointed…and sleep deprived. I am learning how much I am willing to pay for a good mattress.

Which leads me to my long-drawn out point. In the Bible, Saul fell flat on his butt and went blind on that road to Damascus. It was NOT pretty. It was not easy. It was not Clean. And I bet walking in some slippers on a dusty road Blind too quite a frikin while- and required all types of helping hands on the way. And I am sure Saul/Paul felt at some point- really Lord, all that? did I have to go frikin Blind to learn that lesson? There really wasn’t any other way? I’m sure that as a newly Blind man he was scared as heck of where, or how to even take that first step on his Journey. But the last time I lost weight, got over a boy, started writing a book, became a doctor it started with a first step. I have been blessed to be surrounded by Good friends, and a Great God along the way but that very first step has been to start with me. Seeing as how God is kicking out all of my Plan Bs, my decorative pillows, my comfortable complacency: there is only Plan A. Which sounds a lot like-seek ye first the kingdom…

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