The truth is usually simple. This is a fact. Do you over think things? I am discovering more and more than I do.
This past few weeks I've been more and more emotionally uncomfortable in the mornings, particularly while I wait for my coffee to brew. That's when I lean against the wall opposite the coffeemaker, listen to the drip drip drip and have a quiet contemplative moment. But I noticed I was starting to feel I was doing something shameful, or somehow disappointing. Why? I looked around - there was nothing nasty needing to be cleaned up that I was ignoring, I wondered if I was drinking too much coffee and so I carefully counted how much I have and how much is advisable. All was well. I wondered if it was because my coffee is not from an ethical source and spent a lot of time and money fixing that but the feeling persisted. I prayed. I wrote. I paced up and down. I couldn't figure it out. Until today. I realized that a couple of weeks ago I shifted things around in my kitchen and now this is what is directly in my line of vision as I wait for my coffee.
You see? Overthinking.
In the same vein I remember my oldest son having to do a self-portrait at school. He always hated drawing but did his best. My friend who was studying to become a children's art therapist took me to one side and commented on my son's artwork and his dramatic use of colours. She asked if she might have a word or two with him. Nervously, I agreed and listened as she asked him about his drawing. Finally she pointed to the kaleidoscopic colouring around the torso area and asked "what feelings do these colours represent?" Clearly puzzled, he stared back at her, wide eyed. She clarified with "Is this how you feel inside?" There was a brief silence while my heart flip-flopped wondering how much I had damaged my child's psyche followed by the words "No. That's my tie dye shirt". Oh! The relief! I'm not saying I haven't damaged him, just that he's sensible enough to keep it to himself!
It's the same when I pray. I submit my requests to God and then look for hints and clues and hidden messages. God really doesn't work like that. He doesn't want us to read the bible and glean some unwritten code from it. When I pray for something the answer will be presented to me in a way that is indisputable. There's no need to seek out answers too much - they're usually under your nose. Just wait.