Wednesday, September 30 2020 - 4:12 PM
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A Lot of Work

“I‘m cynical,” I said as I sat across from my best friend at a small French restaurant that had been the talk of the very small town in which we lived. We had squealed with glee when we entered the restaurant and were greeted with a hardy “Bonjour!” Here the waiters actually spoke French and the owner flitted about in a chef’s cap asking the patrons, in a heavy provincial accent, if they were enjoying their meals. “Oui!” We responded.

Finally! A chance to be as fancy as I’ve always pretended to be! Yet, even in all that excitement, I could hardly hide what I was feeling.

“I’m really cynical, and I don’t know what to do.”

My friend looked up from her spinach and goat cheese quiche. Her wide eyes opened even wider, a feat I thought impossible up until that point.

“What does that mean to you?” She asked.

Ugh. It’s great being friends with a trained mental health professional until they get all trained mental health professional on you.

But I explained anyway. I explained that even though I very much believed in God, or at least I thought I did, I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m not having the same experiences as I did before. I feel disconnected. I even (prepared to be scandalized) rolled my eyes during church last week.

My friend listened patiently as I continued.

“And it’s not for lack of trying! I read my Bible! I listen to the Christian radio! I go to church! I’m just not feeling it!”

“That sounds like you’re putting in a lot of work.” She said, with a smirk I’ve seen before. A smirk like that typically indicated that she had just said something profound that would eventually make sense to me after a little bit of mental straining.

I eventually did get it, but not before throwing my hands up and letting out an emphatic “YES, IT IS A LOT OF WORK!”

“Oh.” I said sheepishly.

She was right: I was working really hard at this God thing. When did God become just another item to tick off in my favorite productivity app? When did believing become so taxing?

I had created so much noise for myself that I missed God continually whispering, “Be still. That’s all you have to do. You can still be cynical. You can still be angry. You can still be lost. Don’t try to fix it. Just know that I’m here and that that’s enough.”

I sat back in my chair, aware that I had relaxed my fists. I hadn’t noticed they were clenched.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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