matt tullos

the compost pile of writer, matt tullos. mostly poems, prayers, rants and naratives... "Gods passion for the world has compelled me to be a contributor in the warfare of grace rather than a spectator in the warfare of religion."

Location: Alexandria, LA, United States

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

king of pain

Last night I had one of those personal discussions with myself (I am certified) about pain and pain killers. I am surrounded by hurting people. Indeed I carry around a good bit of pain myself. I spent about an hour in my car and I just allowed myself to explore a subject that I avoid most of the time. That seems to be my m.o. regarding the subject. Avoid thinking about the pain and it will go away. But it doesn't. I have somewhat of a pain-phobia.

Sting's lyric comes to mind:

"I have stood here before in the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I always thought you could end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain"

I don't like to be in pain and I don't want others to be in pain. I guess that's why I am an approval addict. I don't like to cause pain. That’s why I'm so easily persuaded. That's why my days run together with the galloping madness of a stampede. That's why it's so hard for me to be an editor. (Sending out rejection slips is the most painful thing I do because I know the pain I feel when I get those blasted things in the mail or when I am rejected personally. I take way too much ownership over my ideas. This is whitewashed idolatry, pure and simple.

God continues to reveal to me, not my sin, because that is ever before me. But he is showing me the root. It's a scary proposition. Somewhat like opening the report card, hoping for the best but deep down knowing that things are pretty screwed up. Fear of pain leads ultimately to greater pain. The pain will happen. As Lewis said, it is God's megaphone to bring us out of the nursery.

As I grow older, my eyesight weakens, yes. But my vision into myself increases. I can look back and answer questions. Why did I fall into clinical depression? Because of a fear of confrontation. Why did I make life-decisions that ultimately caused me pain- usually the root has been fear. Fear of rejection, fear of loneliness, fear of intimacy, (I know this sounds insane and ironic) fear of hell, fear of peril, fear that I will be "found out", meaning that I'm not the person that I want to be, fear of failure, fear of death. Fear is a powerful force. This fear and timidity has caused me to make incredibly absurd, stupid decisions and I am left to deal with the remorse of its power over me. The thing so terrible and awesomely daunting about fear is that I don't think there is anything I can do in my own power to get this villain out of my life. To be delivered from it requires me to trust wholly in Christ alone. That just seems too simplistic- and I guess that's the point. If I am not willing to be simplistic my life will be a complicated mess.


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