No Matter Where You Go, There You Are

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
2 Corinthians 5:4-9

I am tired. Really tired. I work what’s called a 9/80 schedule, where we work 80 hours over 9 days over two weeks. What this means is that I get every other Friday off. This past Friday was off, and I spent it sleeping. Literally. I slept at least 14 hours. I did the same thing two weeks ago.

I suspect that part of the issue is my change in lifestyle. If you are a regular reader, you know about my Personal Trainer. The thing is that a 1 hour workout seems to add 2 hours to my day. Getting home later means everything is pushed back. And I know that if I go downstairs to my computer, I’ll be there for several hours, which I just don’t have time for. If I stay up late (which I love to do), I’ll be dragging the next day. It’s a vicious cycle; one which I used to be able to balance, but with the added exercise, I usually choose to just stay away.

The problem is that the time I spend on my computer, with my virtual friends in my virtual world, gives me energy. As an introvert, I live inside my head. Interacting with (or blowing up) people on the internet is a cerebral activity and it energizes me. Being forced to put that aside, even for such a good cause as my improved health, is a great sacrifice.

But more than that, I’m tired in my soul. If you’ve struggled with chronic illness for any length of time, you may be able to relate. I’m tired of being tired, of never seeming to be completely rested. I’m tired of not sleeping well, and starting each day behind. I’m tired of being trapped in a body that is both unable and (consequently) unwilling to do my bidding. And while I know that, for the sake of my daughter, I can endure for a few months the physical training in which I’m now engaged, I don’t know if I can see this as an enduring lifestyle change.

I love the prayer that Jesus prays in the garden of Gethsemane. It is this prayer that reminds me that Jesus was a man. He saw the path before him; he saw the cross, and he said, “Father, I really don’t want to do this.”  I resonate with that. I remember when I first got sick, crying out to God, “Lord, if you wanted to stop the world right now, I’m ready to get off.” There’s a part of me that feels that way right now. I’m ready to just stop trying.

But, after wrestling with his own desires (wrestling seems much to small a word; he sweat drops of blood in his anguish), Jesus concludes with “yet not my will, but yours be done.” From the time he left the garden, there is no hint of second guessing, or balking at the road to the cross. He willingly and forcefully proceeds down the path of obedience, to our eternal benefit.

This morning in church, I was reminded once more that “in him we live and move and have our being.” Being in God’s presence restored life to my soul; it reminded me what I’m here for. My life is not my own; my heart beats at the will of my Lord. I know that my wife and children still want me to hang around for a bit. My parents have told me in no uncertain terms that I’m not allowed to go before them. There may be one or two other people who have a vested interest in my presence on this earth. So then, I make it my goal to please Him, whether I am at home in the body or away from it.