Me vs. God

I wrestled with God and I lived to tell the tale.

God threw my life into total chaos and left me hangin’.

There seemed no reason to continue the relationship on friendly terms.

As I prepared for my personal Armageddon, I called God out on everything I could think of that was wrong in my life. I had become utterly hopeless and completely defeated but mustered the strength to take on the Creator.

It’s possible you may not have read about a more famous man_vs._God  bought that occurred in the Bible. That particular match took place with a guy named Jacob. I’ll not tell it all here, but as the all night bought with Jacob drew to a close, God pulled a hip move on Jacob which I believe has since been outlawed by the UFC (except for Taiwan where anything goes). That move rendered Jacob crippled for life, as his hip was never quite the same.

Even so, it was ‘on’ with me and God!

We put on the gloves, rang the bell and I got after it.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Cool_Hand_Luke (“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”) you know exactly how the fight between me and God went. In the movie, Luke (Paul Newman) takes on the toughest guy in the prison, Dragline (George Kennedy), in a boxing match. Luke eventually punches himself into exhaustion and falls into Dragline’s arms and the big man carries Luke off the field.

I had a similar experience.

I thought I had God on the run with my convincing dissertation and self-righteousness when he pulled the Rope_a_dope. The Rope-a-dope is a fight move made famous in the 70’s by the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. In this move, Ali stands against the ropes and allows the other boxer to throw punches while he covers up and absorbed the blows. The other boxer exhausts himself throwing useless punches and then Ali goes after him.

For a few days I remained completely engaged in this struggle. The ‘whys’ and the ‘whats’ are not important, but I let God have it with everything I could muster. All the mistakes He’d made in the course of my life, the wrong courses He’d put me on and the paths He didn’t let me pursue.

I know God never threw a punch in any of the rounds, but He let me punch myself into exhaustion. Any injuries I sustained in that bought were self-inflicted.

When it was over (when I got over myself) God blessed me with peace. It may have not been “A peace…that surpasses all understanding,” but peace, none the less.

Nothing resolved. Nothing new. Just peace.

I think we’re still working it out (I am anyway) and it’s not peaches and cream, but my Father listened and he didn’t condemn me, though He had every right to.

I’m not condoning an all out fight with God (He IS God you know!), but coming clean with your Creator on who and what you are, and what you think about how it’s going, may add some clarity and some relief.

I was surprised God let me go as long as He did. I felt so empty and defeated and I wasn’t sure anyone was going to catch me. I wallowed in self-pity, self-doubt and unrighteous self-justification!

In the end, none of my problems or life struggles were resolved, and yet I was victorious. Like Rocky Balboa after being defeated by Apollo Creed – in the original and best Rocky movie – Rocky realized he had won in life, regardless of the outcome of the fight.

I wrestled with God and won, though God was not defeated.

I have no idea how or why it worked out that way, but it did.

Some things are just not worth trying to explain.


just for me

i’ve walked through the fields and paused to admire a single leaf and wondered if anyone else had noticed.

I’ve considered the shape of single snowflake and the perfect blanket they cast across a rugged landscape.

I’ve seen a tree so majestic among the many, beckoning toward the sky and offering its branches in perfect symmetry to any passer-by on the ground or in the air.

I’ve witnessed sunsets that gave me pause about the wonders of the universe and the God who created them.

I’ve watched shooting stars that appeared and disappeared in a single breath.

I’ve delighted in rainbows so brilliant that I knew, without a doubt, there was a pot of gold at the end!

I’ve witnessed storms so fierce they unnerved me and rains so gentle they barely bent the blade of grass.

I’ve watched the sprout of a seed in the garden as it struggled to overcome the clump of dirt that weighed it down and wondered if it would overcome.  And then, in the span of a season, ate the fruit it bore.

In each of these moments and in a thousand more, I wondered, “Was that just for me?”

Is it possible, that absent of my existence, these things would never exist?

Is it conceivable that I and only I could witness them?

Did the Creator of the universe cast His gaze toward me and offer me that single moment, witnessed by no other, to the Glory of His Name and the wonder and fascination of my mind?