Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wrestling with God

Working on this Confirmation talk has led me to write a second blog post inspired by my preparation. The students receive a handout at each session, so today I was reading the front page and was struck by one sentence:
From our ancestor Jacob we learn that we must wrestle with God and struggle with ourselves to become the persons we want to be.

The story of Jacob wrestling with God is quite interesting and is found in Genesis 32:24-30. Jacob and an unnamed man wrestle all night long, but Jacob kept his strength and prevailed against the man. It is at the end of this fight that Jacob's name is changed to Israel and he is blessed by the "man." How many times have we wrestled with something and have given up, not having the courage, like that of Jacob, to continue?

I cannot say that I have "wrestled" with God, but I can say I have struggled with things and questioned God about them, crying out "why me?" Sometimes it feels like we cannot do anything about the struggles that we face, such as experiencing the death of a loved one or being extremly tired of being single. We struggle in our hearts to face the reality of events and how to cope with our emotions. We need to face our own struggles and not become passive about life, sweeping hurtful events under the rug. Of course, we also have to continue on with our lives at the same time. If we don't figure out how to struggle and cope with things, then who is the person we are becoming?

In our world today that is filled with so many distractions and pressures to be strong and keep our lives to ourselves it is easy to dismiss our lives. We're so wrapped up in the struggles of others, especially the ones the media portrays as significant, and we forget our own lives. We're human, it's ok to cry.

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