"What do YOU want?"
Monday, September 28, 2009
I haven't written of this before, but maybe it's time.
A theme arose during my retreats: a question posed to me which, I was told by the multiple sisters (and a few other random people) posing the question, that they had NEVER asked anyone else.
What was their question?
My standard answer didn't cut it for them, and they were right to call me on it: "I want what God wants. I desire HIS WILL. I'm here to figure out what HE is asking of me!"
Yes, that's still true, and they each acknowledged that fact.
I've been praying about that question ever since; the fact that it arose each time in the same way was significant, and I had to admit...I'd never actually considered what I wanted. The fact was, I spent many years doing what I thought I wanted to do. For once, I wanted to take the back seat and let God lead, and just try to follow. For once.
Every time I do what I want, it ends in disaster.
My law enforcement career...an embarrassment if there ever was one.
Firefighting? Yet another embarrassment. At least I was able to save face when I left that one, given my fortuitous injury graced to me during training, a week or so after September 11 and three weeks before graduation. Never mind the months on light duty while I waited for the axe to hit my neck, wishing it would, doing the best job I could with a very uncertain future. Sure I left with references from the top, but please don't talk to any of my training captains. The one I had would tell a different tale, but then again, I could tell tales about him, too...long before that experience I briefly dated his best friend. Didn't realize it until after I'd left the department, though. Good thing. (He was an even bigger ass than my brief boyfriend said he was!)
Ski Patrol? Yes, I loved it, had some early success (was named Rookie of the Year), but admit I got a bit gun shy watching other patrollers leave due to lack of support from Minnesota Law. We weren't really protected; we were in limbo because we weren't "average citizens" and weren't EMT's. Even those of us who HAD taken EMT and were certified weren't protected, because the so-called "Good Samaritan" law still left us wide open. Not necessarily the Ski Area and their insurance, but us, personally.
And after an incident where a kid crashed on me and a rookie training with me, well, I'll admit I decided it wasn't worth it anymore. I never had the temperament for it and really, I think I did it out of self-interest as opposed to any real altruistic sentiment.
Yeah, yeah, ski patrollers, especially the volunteers found in most places, even where paid Patrollers exist, joke that they do what they do because it finances their ski habit. There may be truth to that, but the more important truth is that those who go back year after year to this thankless labor requiring long hours, many many hours driving, exposure to legal risk, etc., well... they're not doing it for the ski habit; they're doing it because they care and because they're willing to stand up for what is right and respond to those who need help, no matter what the conditions.
I can't measure up to that standard.
I never could.
Finally, I left. Yes, I miss it. I miss the people and I didn't mind mopping up blood from enthusiastic kids' faces after they'd crashed while attempting some kind of new trick. I didn't mind getting up from a meal to head out to haul someone off the hill. I didn't mind packing someone off to the hospital. Someone had to do it.
But that doesn't mean I was good at it. I tended to follow the lead of other patrollers and thanked God I never had to be Hill Captain when ours was absent. I thanked God I rarely had to run a scene.
Leadership isn't my "thing." If I could be invisible...I would be.
Ironically I used to be a Girl Scout. It was touted as a "leadership" organization. I learned how to make S'mores and stick a peppermint stick into an orange for a "girl scout soda". I never learned anything of value. The "badges" we earned were stupid beyond belief. I learned to be part of a pack of people agreeing on stupidity. What a great skill. How representative of the American Public.
So we're back to my beginnings I see.
I've spent my entire life trying to do first what others wanted, then what I wanted, and then what God wanted.
And when I FINALLY do what I think God wants me to do, what happens? They ask me what I want!
I DON'T KNOW! I NEVER knew! That's why I've failed at so many things! (And if ONE person sends me the viral video going around about famous people's failure I'll personally show up at your house and puke on your computer.)
Yes, I want to know what God wants of me, and maybe I know it.
But I don't want it.
And so now, here I am, stuck. I got what I wanted, and I'm even MORE disillusioned than I was before.
I hoped, for once, to find Peace.
Maybe, for me, peace won't come until I'm dead. That's what...another 60 years or so? Unless I get cancer or something horrific, I don't see "peace" in sight for me.
What do I want? Really?
To stop this cycle. To find home. To stop wondering if my whole life has been an attempt to escape the damaged years of my youth. To stop wondering if I've wasted all this time trying to be someone that I'm not and was never supposed to be.
I don't know. I simply don't know. Please pray for me...I don't even think I can pray for myself anymore.
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