“Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”” (Genesis 32:24-28)
Just above my hip (to lower back) is quite sore right now (very stiff and hard to move around at times) – after a long night of wrestling with my thoughts, talking/arguing with the wife, and thinking about my relationship with God. This story immediately came to mind for me – namely because of the hip thing but also because wrestling/striving ain’t easy (maybe I deserve to be sore).
It all started with blogging and really getting into questioning mode – and then I read two letters of Paul’s (Colossians and Philippians) online (so I skimmed them in certain parts)…it got me thinking about what Paul means when he talks about Jesus (so I was troubled). Then I watched a show on doctors over-medicating young children – needless to say – I wasn’t happy. Then the wife and I got into a long discourse about the show, life, buying a house, and personal issues. By the end of the night I threw up my hands and whispered something to God which I cannot even remember.
Yesterday was also one of those days when it rains – it pours. It was like I was the bane of some people’s existence – and I hate being the ‘bane’. I started to realize – ‘maybe I am not as good a person as I think/perceive I am’ (clouded by my own self righteous judgment) – and that realization always sucks. I realized I needed to be more gracious to people – and more sensitive dare I say? Anyways, that helped to chip away at my identity…and started the wrestling…and I didn’t even get blessed.
A lot of this is my fault – I was being harsh to critiques offered to me – and hard hearted (I wanted to say ‘I am sorry’ – but pride was the river card). I noticed I wanted to drop mercy and be mean for a few moments – I hate when people can’t do the impossible…I think I even said ‘I’ll walk on water before some of them can even admit the possibility of change…damn doubters’. I wanted to explain ‘I am content’ – but in the meantime – ‘I am discontent’ – and for good cause – you can’t help everyone (and sometimes no one). The night was near and like Jacob I say to my wife (which is not rare “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking”.
My hip is sore now. I doubted Jesus’ divinity. I questioned Paul. I don’t like drugs. I think I have the answers. I am lazy around the house. There is nothing redemptive about this is there? Oh well…I won’t leave until ‘You bless me’ or ‘change my identity’ – strivers ayways.
I like Jacob…I mean Israel. Things changed you know – and that’s the process of life. My hip is sore today…but not tomorrow. I feel shades of guilt today – I will make it right when and how I can…I say some stupid things…but this ain’t one of them.