Are we there yet?

Prayer space

Every day I go to my chair and I sit in the early morning light or dark. I set down my glass of water. I look into Your face. I’m pretty consistent about this. I get anxious if it is put off or I miss the appointment.

Every day I struggle.
I come with feelings of failure and inadequacy and waste.
I come wanting to be fixed.
I come to be sorted out.
I come wanting to know.
I come longing to be lifted up into a realm of light and eternity.
I come knowing there is so little time.

Every day,
if I give You the chance
amidst the barrage of longing and complaint,
You tell me to put all this to one side.
I can almost see You sweep the table
____________________________ bare
with Your arm.
Every day You tell me,
“I just want to be here with you.”

Every day I struggle not to say,
“But what about this?
and what about that?”
Every day I struggle to accept that
what I am is what You want.
It is not that I am enough,
“just as I am,”
but that any idea of being enough is a foolish mistake.
What could ‘enough’ possibly mean to You?

Every day I struggle to shut the fuck up and just let You be with me.
“Take a breath,” You say.
I want to know where this is going.
“This is it,” You say,
“We are here.”
I don’t get it. I never do.
I say, “Are we there yet?”
“Yes,” You say, “Yes.
We are here.”

I take a breath.
I feel it for a spell. Then,

“Yes, but…”

The timer goes. The hour is up.

It is never enough.

11 thoughts on “Are we there yet?

  1. Oh Julian, this is so you, so me, so every recalcitrant child of the divine! You have a great gift for ‘hitting the mail on the head’ – thank you!

  2. Yes this just what it’s like for me too. Also on some days a sense as with my parents of having to have a problem in order to justify God’s time/attention.

    1. Ah, yes. That is interesting. I think this sense also infects much spiritual direction, too. The person coming feels they have to have something to bring to talk about. The spiritual director feels lost if there isn’t an ‘issue’ to work with. Thanks for this thought, Joanna.

      1. Yes instead of waiting for what is really going on to emerge. This, albeit for good intentions, ‘forcing’ of an issue then becomes part of the violence continuum instead of allowing ourselves to allow… peace.

  3. I really relate to this poem. Its seems to be about being unable to get rid of personal clutter and just to BE with God in prayer. Jesus wanting to clear the decks for us so He can break through – almost like when he cleared the Temple of the money changers.
    I was intrigued by the literary conceit of God as a spiritual director. Obviously there is something of your own experience as a spiritual director in this. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate spiritual director – shaping us, refining us. A lady once said to me years ago when I was a young man – ‘Do you have a spiritual director?’ and I hadn’t then. She looked at me and said ‘Perhaps Jesus is your spiritual director.’ Well He is and has always been – but I have a good spiritual director too to hope me interpret Jesus’ direction!
    Theres’ a lot of frustration in the poem too and anger at oneself at not being able to get rid of the clutter. At not being able to be still, to clear your head. At not being able to get prayer right, to do it properly no matter how you try. I relate very much to this.
    But despite this the Holy Spirit gets through somehow. I read somewhere that prayer is like the Holy Spirit hovering over the turbulent waters – over our clutter.

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