Today was one of those days where you wake up and everything is wrong. The world is not right. But it really started last night when I took a Benadryl so my head, the one that felt like a stuffed balloon, could sleep. I love colds. And I love Benadryl. I slept beautifully, so beautifully that I missed my alarm. My eyes squinted open and somehow I knew things were not right. There was too much light filtering through my window. I glanced up. The clock read 7:48am. I was supposed to have been in class three minutes ago. I faced the moment of panic: “I’m late.” Followed by the lackadaisical: “Well, I might as well not go.” Followed by ten seconds dedicated to the arguing factions within my brain. I opted to salvage the class. So I grabbed the nearest set of sweats, my notebook, a pencil, my keys and phone and dashed out the door. Running to class I felt awkward and ugly. I could feel sleep clinging to me with my ponytailed bed head and tired eyes, making me feel a spectacle. Then I became one. I tripped over the curb in my haste and sprawled on the cement. Everything within my grasp went flying. My cell phone landed in two pieces. I felt like I might have too. But there was no time to feel sorry for myself or dust the dirt off my pants. I picked myself up and finished my sprint to class just in time to take the quiz on grammatical verbs and noun phrases.
My day didn’t get any more dramatic than that moment, but it hasn’t really felt any better either. I never quite got myself together. The hours have felt both fragmented and blurred all at the same time, the disjointed pieces flashing by without slowing down. I don’t really want to be writing this. I don’t want to be doing anything accept closing my books and going to sleep so I can start over in the morning. But I feel that I need to be writing this. There is something important about sprawling in the parking lot at 7:51 in the morning.
Today was a reminder to me that I am human, that I trip, that I fall, that I can’t always hold it all together. I usually seem well put together, well-groomed, responsible, not someone to let things slip through the cracks. I try to present myself to the world as a model student, a model peer instructor, a model friend, a model Christ follower, a model you-fill-in-the-blank. Most days I fool the world. Or maybe I don’t. But a lot of days I fool myself. I get confident, even cocky. “Yeah, I can do this,” I think to myself. God chuckles. He sends me an extra potent Benadryl. He sends me a curb and clumsy feet. As I sprawled on the ground I remembered. My sense of propriety broke in two and my true self spilled out on the concrete along with my books.
The truth is this sprawled picture is a lot closer to my real self than the put together image I conjure up each week. Because the truth is I am a mess. I feel scattered. And I am incapable of picking up all my pieces and making sense of them on my own. I can’t pick the grime off my soul as easily as I picked the grass off the knees of my pants this morning. I need God to do that for me. And every day I don’t fall flat on my face it is because of Him. So I hope you can picture me sprawled on the ground at 7:51 this morning. And I hope you can laugh. Because I am laughing. I hope you find relief in knowing that we all have mornings when we fall apart. We are all human. You are not alone. And I am thankful that we have a big God who loves to pick us up. Here's to clumsiness.