Sometimes, just sometimes, sleep depravation can take you to a plane of philosophical brooding normally reserved for mystics and travelers. This morning after watching the sun rise slowly, catching the hundred different tints from black to pink, and after contemplating the plight of teething babies and their mothers since the wee sma’ hour of 3am, I entered that place.
I was watching my son, finally in a quiet moment, gnawing on a plastic dog and I found that I sympathized. For aren’t we all teething souls, with the chronic itch, cutting teeth on all of our doubts and fears, hopes and joys, chewing at life until we find satisfaction? And that the only way- satisfaction lies on the other side of the itch, always on the other side, an itch so bad as to become a pain that wakes you up in the wee sma’s, and keeps you and your loved ones up at night. And is this my son’s introduction, gnawing away, to life?
And what shall I gnaw at today? The sharp edges of my doubt about what God’s goodness means for me? The roughness of an anxiety for a friend who has received some hope-changing news in regards to her unborn baby? The sadness of another friend whose marriage is melting into puddles of distrust and apathy? Gnaw away, gnaw away.
And I think of Job, whose sores were so uncomfortable as to be relieved by the scrape of a broken piece of pottery(Job 2:7-8). And of a college friend who fell into a depression so deep so quickly that cutting herself seemed reprieve. Is our answer the same as God’s answer to Job(Job 40:9-14)? Does he answer our questions solely with who He is? I am. Can this be sufficient satisfaction for me? I am. Cutting my gums, gnawing away. Can I get the satisfaction without the painful itch? I am sufficient. How much satisfaction can I expect to get in this life? I am sufficient. Gnawing away. Are you? I am.