Saturday, January 19, 2008
Over the last several weeks I have done lots of introspection. Just who is Bobby Valentine and what makes him tick? I have descended into the depths of my soul that I did not even know where there. I have no intention of sharing the darkness in some of the nooks and crannies that have been plumbed but I am opening a window ...
Bobby Valentine is, I believe, more like David than any other person in the Bible: that is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Swirling contradictions were at the core of David ... and I believe of me. David longed to serve God with all of his heart and yet could be the most selfish and self-centered man of his day. I desperately want to be be God's man and yet I find myself doing great battle with fallenness that is "me."
Some examples of the contradictions that swirl in my own heart. It is interesting that my favorite books in the Bible are Psalms with their passionate cries for authenticity and genuine relationship ... and cries of repentance and the Song of Songs which is equally passionate about love. At the other end the most read part of my Bible is the rigorous Sermon on the Mount! What contraditions.
I cannot make up my mind if the greatest band is the Beatles or Pink Floyd or ... Metallica. But I love Brandi Carlise but also Ozzy. I appreciate the great Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix. I like Nickleback and Mercy Me ... what contradictions. I love Salvador Dali and Monet but don't have an artistic bone in my body. I want to protect the environment but like '68 Camaros. Black is my favorite color on most anything or anyone. I want to spend quality time with my girls but find myself bringing "work" home. And like David I find myself making incredibly stupid decisions. Contradictions.
I think drunkenness is wrong but have been known to have a Martini or Pale Ale/Amber Bock. I point people to Jesus and his cross and often don't trust in his righteousness myself. I have imagined that I was in control of my life and discovered what an illusion that truly is. Sometimes I smile when I feel like crying ... and there are times when David and I kneel together and shout at the top of our voices into the Night wondering where the unseen Presence may be ... afraid not to believe that He is there.
Contradictions. Are they the essence of life? Probably my third favorite book in the Bible is the Book of Contradictions, Ecclesiastes. Perhaps contradictions, as in Ecclesiastes, are simply ways of being truly honest about just who and what we are. I can no more deny the contradictions that lie within me than Qohelet. I do not excuse my contradictions ... like my ultimate one: I want to be faithful to God and his will but I am often not only unfaithful but don't even know what he is doing in my life! Perhaps these contradictions, that also lie at the heart of the People of God revealed in His Story, are what make us Israel in the first place. Israel means "he who struggles with God." In my contradictions I am struggling with God.
In the end I pray that God will have mercy and deliver me from the whirlwind that lies within. In the meantime I beg strength from that unseen Presence to hold on in the Night.