January 6, 2010

ready or not...

I never liked playing hide-and-go-seek.
Nothing about it sounds appealing to me, even still. You hide; you find some location clever enough that you won't be out first but not so clever you are lost forever in the abyss that is whoever's enormous basement you're hiding in. Of course, the wretched children whom I regularly played hide-and-go-seek with always wanted to play it with the lights off. Basements grow approximately 37 times scarier with the lights off, by the way. That's a fact.
Then there is the counting. But within mere seconds, before you have even adjusted your eyes to the dark and stopped hyperventilating long enough to find somewhere to actually hide your person, you hear the dreaded words - the six words that still to this day send chills up my spine:


The yeller is practically peeing their pants with glee, but off in the dark, panic ensues. Hearts beat faster, all of us thinking "we're NOT! we're NOT!!" but knowing that now there was nothing we could do to stop it. All that was left to do was try with all your might to stop yourself from mouth-breathing too loudly in your hysteria and wait your turn to be found.

As a child, when someone excitedly suggested we play hide-and-go-seek, I'd lie and feign matched joy and delight. Nobody wants to be that kid who doesn't like hide-and-go-seek. I mean, come on. I had a reputation to protect. As an adult, praise the good Lord, no one ever wants to play hide-and-go-seek anymore. But I still fear those words. People aren't yelling them at me anymore, though, mostly because that would be incredibly creepy. Now the person yelling it has to be me. And I find myself saying this a lot: "I'm just not ready." Or sometimes - when life asks, "Ready?" - in a panicky-child-hiding-voice, there's me: "I'm NOT! I'm NOT!!!" Recently, however, something came to my attention: there is no way to actually assign an operational definition to "ready." In fact, what does ready even mean? What is ready, anyway? Tell me! WHAT?!

I'll tell you what I've come up with. The entire concept of ready is a bunch of crap. Yes, crap. There is no pretty word which makes this point as adequately - only uglier ones, and I try to keep things PG around here. Although by current rating standards I believe that under the PG rating I could drop the f-bomb and probably even have a little nudity. But that's neither here nor there.

The point is: I will never be ready. I will never be ready to try for freedom and healing. I will never (ever) be emotionally ready to go on dates with boys. I will never be ready to start taking the terrifying risk that comes with actually seriously trying writing. I will never be quite ready to perform the duet I have been practicing with KK for karaoke at Dubb's. I will never be ready to do most of the things that I think might be the most worthwhile things to be doing. I won't be ready until I am ready. Under this logic, I end up doing a whole lot of nothing. I end up sitting around, reading another book, another blog, listening to another sermon which I think will help me to be ready. I get ready all day long and then I don't DO anything. Which is a little bit ludicrous, is it not?

Although lots of my examples are a little silly, we do this with our faiths too. I'm just not ready. When I have my stuff together, then I'll come to church. When I get back on the right track, I'll start praying again. When I'm worthy, I'll approach Him. And this, my tiny pets, is a lie. In saying these things, we nullify what Jesus did for us. We don't have to be ready (and we won't be - we covered this, keep up) to come. Because: (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace when we're ready & when we have all our crap figured out.
OH WAIT! My b. I was quoting from the MPB translation (Megan's Psycho Brain). Try this instead:
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Ahh. Good. That sounds way more like Jesus.

So here's what I'm going to do: I'm just going to start doing stuff. I am taking the words, "I'm not ready" out of my vocabulary. If even the Bible says that I can approach the great high priest in my time of need - and with confidence, no less - surely I can face you fools! And so: my new motto for twentyten has become my least favorite combination of 6 words spoken by any human ever. My how the tables have turned.

[whether I'm] ready or not... here I come!


sarahannnoel said...

This is so, so good.

My cousin-in-law (ha, I think I can just say "cousin") and his wife are part of a group that addresses this very thing: the idea that we don't live enough of life. We were put here to live and we don't. They have a blog called "Rhino Rumblings." And here are their rules:

1. Choose adventure over safety.
2. Say "yes" more than "no."
3. Have the faith of a mustard seed.

In my head, I'm the bravest most adventuring human girl alive. But really, I never was; and the part of me that used to be kind of like that is gone. So I got really excited when Ryan told me about this. I thought, "Yes. Those are easy rules to inject my life with more adventure."

You are amazing. And you will have amazing adventures. Ones that are way bigger than entering writing contests which is the first step. :)


AllisonLynn said...

I hated playing hide and seek as a child too! I think it was the fear of never being found. . . or if I was "it" of never finding anyone and being left alone.

As I do more play therapy, though, there is almost ALWAYS a theme of the child wanting to be found. Most of the time we play games where they hide something in the sand while I hide my eyes. There is something significant about knowing someone is pursuing you, trying to find you, proving that you are worth finding. I'll pray that as you try out your new twentyten themes, you will be blessed to be on the receiving end of the same kind of passionate pursuit! Love ya!

Frank and Teen said...

One of my favorite verses - knowing that God does not expect me to be "ready" before I come to Him. And even better, knowing that I come before a holy God who understands it all. Even my "not ready" self. What a marvelous God we serve!!

Alli said...

Allison likes this. Oh wait, this isn't facebook. oops.