I have come to a rather stunning realization. A few days ago, I realized that most of the spiritual disciplines I had woven into my life, (or aspired to), were now noticeable absent. As I have spent time thinking about this, I have found it hard to discern exactly when I stopped practicing them. This has really been quite unnerving for me. However, it was more unnerving when I realized the reason (or at least the main reason). I am upset with God. I'd rather not go into the specifics of the situation, but the fact is that I am upset with him over something and I haven't dealt with it. There was this (relatively) long term situation in my life where I thought God was going to "come through", and he didn't (or at least, he hasn't). To be honest, I'm not even directly affected by that situation any more, but it is still messed up and I get angry just thinking about it. I admit that I am finite while God is infinite. I confess that I have a limited perspective and a 3 lb. brain which is unable to comprehend God or his purposes. But even so, I am left wondering why obvious good didn't overcome obvious evil in this particular situation (I know it is annoying for me to keep referring to "this situation" but I'd rather not identify it because of the harm it might do to some good people who are still involved). I think this may be where faith comes in. It has been really good for me to become familiar with John Mark Hicks, who is now one of my professors in my graduate program at Lipscomb. Dr. Hicks has been gone through situations and suffered loss that I can't bear to imagine for very long (I won't be so presumtuous as to attempt to tell his story here. You can and should pick up his book "Yet Will I Trust Him" to find out more) . He is an example to me of faith. He says that while he stands in protest sometimes, he still trusts God. This obvious echo of Job has been ringing in my head and my heart lately. I can't see where good overcame evil in that situation, but I believe God is good, so I'm going to keep trusting him. I stand in protest of the (current) outcome of that situation. However, I believe that God knows what he's doing, so I'm going to keep trusting him. I'm trying to deal with my anger and disappointment. I'm trying to reincorporate those disciplines I have dropped (Dana is helping me). I'm learning to talk to God about these things honestly, as great people of faith have and still do. I'm not advocating a blind adherence to facts in the face of evidence to the contrary. I'm advocating a relationship of love and trust. I live inside the story of a God who loves what he created and is good. I don't always understand him, but I'm going to trust him.