An Encounter With The Ceiling

Last night, I lied awake in bed thinking about the past, the future, and the tangled mess that lies in between. For the first time in a while, I talked to God. 

Hey God. I’m ruining every aspect of my life right now. I’m unconsciously sabotaging everything that is good and I don’t know how to quit. Please, for ten minutes, stop my heart. 

To be clear: I don’t want to die. There’s too much undiscovered territory ahead of me for me to want to abandon it, too long of a race for me to quit before it even starts. I only wanted to die for ten minutes, just to see what heaven is like and to feel true emotional freedom. I made that clear to God. 

Lord, don’t kill me forever. Please bring me back in ten minutes. I just want to feel free, and then recreate it somehow on earth. Tell me or show me something that will change the trajectory of my life.

I prayed with more sincerity than I have in a long time. I lied still, very still. Listening. Waiting. All I heard was my heartbeat. The more I thought about it, the quicker it went. I tried to forget it, but it was like breathing–once it’s brought to consciousness, it’s impossible to ignore. 

Are you there, God? Please tell me something that will change my life. Please show me what it’s like to be free from insecurity. Where are you?

God? I’ve never been so serious about anything before. I want you to free me. Are you there?

I turned over. Five minutes passed. I turned on my other side. Another five minutes. More pesky heartbeats, more crushing silence. 

One last time, I pleaded.

Give me a sign that you’re real. Show me that I’m not just talking to the ceiling. 

There was still undisturbed quiet. I opened my eyes, which I had faithfully kept closed and motionless. At that moment, it came to me that whatever God there might have been had turned his face from me. I saw the ceiling and realized that there was nothing else above it, at least, nothing that cared. 

I sleep alone tonight. 

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