For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Solitude and Loneliness

I get those two confused and that confusion leads to things I wish I didn't do. This weekend was not very good for me. As far as I can tell it started Thursday night. The missionaries came over to teach me the first lesson. Since the anger and resentment towards God and the Savior has dissipated, I figured I would enlist the help of these young men to help build my faith in the Christ. It was going well. I listened in a manner I had not listened to missionaries for a long time. I tried to attune my dial to receive the Spirit, which was present. It felt nice, it was a merciful, graceful, chastening Spirit. While there were a number of doctrinal errors in their message, I marvelled at how the Spirit continued to testify of the basic truths connected to their message. If Father could overlook their shortcomings in spreading His message, and compensate with the Spirit, then wouldn't He work the same way with me?

I felt close to Father, tears started to well up in my eyes not out of fear, but out of gratitude and out of sensing the presence of greater truth. At the end, the missionary asked me to commit to pray about the things they shared. I acquiesced. Then he asked me to say the closing prayer. I did not feel comfortable, as there were four present, and of the four three had not real idea what I was going through. As I was working through whether I ought to pray, and I had sensed I would. The one missionary who was privy to my situation then said, "Why don't you want to talk to you Father? He wants to hear from you." He said this in a tone that was full of frustration, sensing my discomfort with praying, he then invoked, "As representative of Jesus Christ, we can tell you Heavenly Father wants you to pray right now."

As soon as I heard this, any desire I had to pray left. At which point that missionary knelt down, and the other missionaries knelt down in suit and they simply waited. I continued to sit there - it was toeing the line of stalemate. I did not like feeling compelled to pray in my own home, when in the same breath that missionary says, "you have a choice." Well, certainly the option I had at that time was simply to sit quietly for the rest of the evening as they knelt. But I relented because I wanted to be left alone, so I quickly rattled off disingenuous prayer. They left. I did not feel the Spirit. I felt controlled. I felt bullied.

The next day things went well, but I was still feeling a sense of dismay over the missionary visit. I decided that perhaps I ought to find others to help build faith in Christ rather than inexperienced 19 year olds. Friday evening came and I got home and realized it was a long weekend and felt a degree of loneliness. I pushed through it, by simply ignoring it. I remained sober that night. However, Saturday was a different story. All day long I tried to fight with loneliness and eventually gave in, I started to cruise the online ads to find an acting out partner, and I eventually did. He came over late Saturday night and that was the end of that. It was, as all the others an empty experience, it filled no holes, it filled no yearning, it was empty. After he left, I pondered on the nature of my addiction. I did this out of loneliness, and partially out of boredom. And it was incredibly frustrating! I then invoked the atonement in a desperate manner to heal me from this addiction, something I think I did for the first time for me, and not because doing so was conditioned by the need to please others. I recognize it may take time, but I pray for the willingness to gain sobriety.

Ah, yes. On the Bishop front. I had a long conversation with him. I am repenting of my resentments toward him. He is a good man, and dare I say I love him as a friend. While there are things I still feel we disagree on, they are minor and I'm sure that the dialogue we've started will be able to address. The larger issues between us have been addressed and I feel a measure of comfort with him, at least in informal settings.

But to end, all I can say is there is a jumble of stuff inside of me, and I'm not sure how to get it out. But one day at a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment