Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To Strive Not To.....

I never wanted to get to the point where my only posts were the Friday Fives. Not that there is anything wrong with that in and of itself, but for a long time my blog was my main creative outlet. There was a time there when I was pretty prolific and rarely had a thought that didn't lead to a post of some sort. Now I find that my main writing energy is going into sermons that I mostly don't think are worth posting, and "five things" each week on Friday, I can't help but wonder if my creative juices, at least in the writing department, are running a little low.

Or maybe it's just that balance thing again. The inner life and the outer life and getting them in sync seems to be a particular challenge for me. I have certainly never been happier and more surely and certainly content with life as a whole than I am right now. Marriage and life with R agrees with me! Some other aspects are a bit challenging (there is always something, right?) like work issues and the irklings that come and go just in the living of life with other people whereever we encounter them (yes, church, too....imagine!) But as I have shared with C on more than one occassion....I seem to struggle with how to have a decent spiritual life in times of goodness and joy. God tends to seem more present to me in times of struggle and difficulty. I rely more, turn more....remember more who and whose I am when I am floundering and falling than when I am coasting along in joy or even in neutral.

I was actually thinking about this on Sunday as I sat in my little red kayak for the first time. As in all things I had pushed and struggled to "get it" immediately, expecting that I should get in that boat, pick up those paddles and row myself perfectly out into the water. Umm, yeah....And after the laughter (good-natured of course) stopped, and my companions R and Soul Sister C pointed out 1) the numerous errors of my paddling ways and 2) my "frowny face," I was able to stop and relax a bit and see that I was er....maybe expecting a little bit much of myself for the first time ever doing this. So I stopped struggling so hard to be the perfect kayaker..... played around a little, got the hang of it just a little bit, and found myself at one point out in the middle of the pond, just drifting. It was quite lovely. And when I was ready to go back in, it was a little easier to take myself and my boat in the general direction I wanted to go...without quite so much effort, without quite so much struggle....I did not need to sufffer or strive to kayak...who knew!

I am by nature a striver. It is where I go first....in paddling, in life and with God. The hard way seems to be the way I know how to do it. Something in me still resists ease. Resists even joy? That is hard to admit, though I think it might be true. I think there is some small part of me that still believes that there is some virtue in suffering and struggle, though my post-modern, liberal self scoffs loudly at this notion. I have gone round in this little circle of my own making far too many times to count. And its getting old. I know that God rejoices in my happiness....is in fact the creator of it. Maybe love will teach me....or the small red kayak, or perhaps God in God's time and patience will get through. Or perhaps I will surrender. Miracles happen all the time! There is, at least in the meantime, a blog post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this post. Thanks for sharing - i'll be right there struggling along with you - although I like it better when I can relax and let the stuggle go.