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nowhere man

06 Jan

He’s a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
He’s as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
Take your time, don’t hurry,
Leave it all ’till somebody else
Lends you a hand.
He’s a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.
-The Beatles

The Nowhere Man exists in each of us at some point and even perpetuates in some. We hide it, shy away from it, even lie about it. But it is there, lurking in the mist of unrealistic expectations and broken masks. This paper will explore a time of Nowhere Man. It will look into a Saturday experience in a life. This paper doesn’t seek to push or pull to a Sunday resurrection time, but rather to listen and see. The song above will be used to describe some of the attributes of a person involved in a Saturday experience. The Holy Tridium, or Pascal mystery will be used to create a metaphor for trials and tribulations we encounter in life. This will be expanded to be a metaphor of a full week.
The metaphor begins with the idea that we exist in a time of relative calm. This is Monday through Thursday. This is the time that is business as usual. We have schedules and activities. We go to work, attend social engagements, join committees, and sit in church on Sundays. There are two basic ways of approaching this time of our lives. We can be believing in God or we can be trusting God.
When we stop at believing in God, the relationship becomes solely about worship of ‘another.’ Our Faith becomes limited to the rituals and the ‘have to’s’ of religion. We have a fully intellectual interaction with the Creator. However, the opportunity to live fully into life is freely given and eagerly hoped for by a loving God. When Peter asked Jesus if it was Him on the crashing waves, he displayed belief when He asked Him to prove it. When Peter leaned into life with Jesus on the rocking waves, he screamed out a trusting relationship. At the point in the story before and after leaving the boat, the waves were crashing against the boat. The waves of life rocked the seas in a nauseating way. The waves will be there, life will go on. The difference is getting to stay huddled in a boat or to stand with Jesus, reaching for a helping hand. We can stumble and bumble through our lives solely dependent on our head, our knowledge. We can list off our beliefs and thoughts. The alternative is to live integrated. Using our heart and head to trust in Jesus, to lean into eternity.
Inevitably, Friday happens. Friday is that moment when a job is lost. Friday is when a child dies. Friday is the moment that everything changes. It is the moment of no return, whether good or bad. Nothing will ever be the same. Living from a place of belief leaves a person asking, “Why me?” Belief robs us of the ability to feel God’s presence when the storm capsizes the boat. Trust in God doesn’t eliminate the Friday. Trust might not even eliminate the question, “Why me?” What it does is gift us with a companion. It lets us walk through the valley of death with Jesus.
Saturday is tomb time. Saturday is the feeling of darkness and isolation. It is the time of transformation. It is the time of discernment. Saturday is our time to reflect on our wounds. It is the time that trust becomes the most important. Trusting allows us to know that although we can’t always see God around us, He is. Trusting lets us know that there will be someone to roll the stone away. Trusting allows us to feel the love through the stone walls. It aids in us not getting stuck in a cycle of anger and self pity. Saturday is the time we take to go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Trusting allows us to work through these stages. Belief beckons to be spared the process and be pulled from it. The consequence of not working through or living through these stages is they will return. Unresolved conflict, PTSD, depression, and some health issues are most assuridly related to being stuck in a stage of a Saturday experience.
Resurrection. I am not talking about resussitation of a life. Sunday is what occurs when we have died to who we were. When we have met Friday, stumbled through Saturday, working through the stages. Sunday is a rebirth. Resurrection is a new life, not a revival of an old one.
I am deeply entrenched in a Saturday. I am the Nowhere Man. I plan on reviewing how I got here and look into how I can be a Now Here Man.
He’s a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
It is important to understand that I am not discouraged about being in a Saturday. It would have either taken this form or another. We can’t be fully alive nor grasp the fullness of life without experiencing some death. The difficulty for me is that I am having to learn to trust while sitting in my Nowhere Land. I thought I was doing the beginning of my metaphorical week in a trusting way. I thought I was integrating my heart and mind to fully engage in a relationship with God. I was certainly more engaged than I had ever been in my life. I hit rock bottom nearly 6 years ago. I was told, “Find God or die.” Over time, I saw that I had already died. I had died emotionally and spiritually. Someone just forgot to tell my body to lie down. I leaned heavily on God for several years. I prayed continuously. I meditated frequently. I was saved from that seemingly helpless state of mind and body. However, as time passed the pursuits became more intellectual than emotional. I thought about God. I thought I was feeling, but many times I was just thinking. Things were wrong on so many different levels. Instead of trusting and following God, I tried to solve them or fix them. I had become disenchanted with work and with running a private practice. I had tried to fix it in the past, but slowly it returned to the same old hassles. My marriage had not been a renewing relationship for some time. My requests for counseling went unanswered. Then there was a moment, a voiced concern that she did not feel intimacy with me at all. I had stagnated with my spiritual growth. The wasn’t a respite from what I saw as failures. I sought to improve those environments and situations. I made plans, agreements, and arrangements. Nothing seemed to work. Regardless, when my Friday hit, I was not ready to cling to the hand of Jesus.
I had been feeling particularily lonely and beaten down. I had closed off my heart from the pain. I hid behind my thoughts and false bravado. Unfortunately, I was desperate to feel appreciated. I needed affection and intimacy and felt it was absent from my life entirely. I crossed some boundary lines and hurt some people around me. I did not trust God’s presence in this situation. I relayed all transgressions to my wife as we walked along a cement path. I knew what I had done, I felt tremendous guilt and shame. I offered to do whatever she needed me to do. She asked me to get out of the house. It was supposed to be a week or two, I stayed for six weeks, then six months, a year, now forever. There were several more Fridays: eSh asked for a legal separation, I was given the option to voluntarily cease practicing medicine, legal problems, I left the practice I had started, the job offer for a new practice was revoked, letters describing our lives to friends, pastors, and family, several of which abandoned me, and then the divorce request. I screamed, “Why me?” I had no idea what to do or how to start to fix any of it.

Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
He’s as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

I approached Saturday completely unaware of the presence of God. I was blind and deaf to how God was working in my life. I ignored small blessings and graces. I started with denial. I refused to recognize how dramatic this was. I continued to whistle in the dark as though it would keep me safe. I thought that if I could just explain this or say the right thing, it would all go back to how it was. I would still be there if it wasn’t for the booming whisper of Jesus. As I begged and pleaded with God to take this away from me, a good friend asked me if I had prayed for those I hurt yet. I was shocked. I had been so worried about my reputation and the consequences of my actions, I had not been praying from the damage I created. I listened. I understood what I was missing was the relationship of me to the world around me. I was trying to live on an island and be in command of the world. I was still trying to think my way out. As I listened to God speaking through this friend, I began to see. The scales were lifted from my eyes.
I began to see God in those family members and friends who would talk with me directly about what happened.
I saw God in the hug from a friend.
I saw God in my tears.
I saw God in my energy to look for jobs and work through my issues and stages.
I saw God in my desire to seek help and to ask for it until I got it.
I felt anger at God for not saving me.
I felt anger at my accusers and my wife.
I felt anger at myself and frustration that I didn’t see this coming.
I promised to be better if only God would get me out of this. I thought that since I had voluntarily left the house, my wife would be suddenly more forgiving and loving. I wondered why with all my prayer, I was still hurting and suffering. I plummeted into depression. I wondered if it wouldn’t be easier to just be dead. I saw a doctor and started changing my medication. I have accepted that there will be consequences to my actions. I will have more pain. I don’t like it, I don’t want it, but I will.

Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
Take your time, don’t hurry,
Leave it all ’till somebody else
Lends you a hand.

I am the Nowhere Man. I will slow down to feel. It will be what it will be. If I can accept help, receive the love around me, reach out longingly for a helping hand, I will become the ‘Now Here Man.”

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1 Comment

Posted by on January 6, 2014 in journey, life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One response to “nowhere man

  1. Susan Irene Fox

    January 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Starting with the truth is a good beginning. God will meet you where you are and walk with you back to the right path. He won’t let go of you.

     

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