Monday, December 14, 2009

All That I Was Meant To Be

"You couldn't pay me to tell you what I think."

That's what I thought when I was in grade 12 English class and we were dissecting poetry. The teacher had a way of snorting his disgust when we gave the wrong answer and I was not about be his target for the day. Inevitably the answer he was looking for and what the poem said to me were at opposite ends of the spectrum. I was always glad I kept my mouth shut.

It's been nearly 30 years since then and I still don't like dissecting poetry.

I've never been too good at reading between lines or getting the nuances of something. I admire people to whom that comes easily. Black and white has always felt safer to me. That probably has something to do with being raised in a home with ridiculous rules that if I kept, I stayed safe. Well, except when the rules changed depending on my mom's mood. At any rate, following rules has always felt safer than using my noggin' to figure things out. Too many variables in thinking for myself.

Well, let me clarify that. When it came to having opinions of others, whether that be what they thought or what they did,hands down, I was an expert and I wasn't quiet about it. When it came to letting you into that place within me where I came to conclusions about my own thoughts, I wasn't about to let you have a chance to become an expert on my those, so I kept them to myself. Over time I've learned that I am no expert on anyone else's life. I still have my opinions but most of the time they've shrunk down to being my opinions, not God's. Big difference.

Because of my tendency to be a rule follower I have long admired dearest one's ability to see the spirit of something. He can hone in on what's really important while I am often still hung up on the technicalities. I'm learning, but it doesn't come naturally, nor is it where my head goes first. I honestly think there's still a part of me that is expecting to get in trouble for having the wrong answer.

About ten years ago this guy came to the church I was attending back then. I had never heard of the show Intervention nor him. He was just some author that friends of ours admired greatly. I remember sitting in the congregation as he taught; him asking us questions. We were a silent bunch, too scared of one another to speak our mind. At least that's the conclusion I came to. I had answers on the tip of my tongue but I was pretty sure my answers wouldn't match up to anyone else's so I kept my mouth shut. I remember Jeff chiding us a bit for our hesitancy. The answer that was on the tip of my tongue matched up to what he was going to say just about 100% of the time. In those kind of situations I still feel like I am a school kid though, and if I had opened my mouth, I would have expected some kind of gold star recognition for being so smart.

Lord have mercy.

All that to say that I know that this song is not about our relationship with God.It sounds more like a love song about a relationship that is about to end. However, every time I hear the following bit in the song, I feel more like it's the Psalmist talking to God, than a jilted lover talking to their beloved.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?


enchantedoak said...

I'm as reluctant to speak out as you are, and you put it perfectly. But in recovery I have instinctive responses that are getting good now, and I have to learn to trust my intuition. It's so true that opinions are often best left unsaid, but commentary is often appreciated.

Black Pete said...

Poetry is meant to be felt, experienced, not dissected. You no more see the soul of a dissected poem than you see the soul of a dissected human...

Tall Kay said...

Black and white has always felt safer for me too. I am often surprised when I read comments that touch on something I completely missed. I still struggle with the poetry...but I'm willing to keep learning.

Here's a big gold star for you!