It had always been the “life in all its fullness” that tripped me up… the examination of my life circumstances seemed to be everything but a full life. Unless it meant a life full of busyness, a packed schedule, constant doing & going – I had a full plate, but not a full life. I didn’t desire to take stock of my life because I knew that I didn’t like it already, & revisiting that fact to ‘revel’ in that wasn’t appetizing, anymore than a root canal would be a fun way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon. Reviewing my life? Why? To be reminded that something that Jesus promised to give me wasn’t evident in my life? That somehow something that was to be given to me had somehow been missed out on…?
Maybe I was trying to earn it. Show myself to be worthy. Not necessarily in a competition with another, but more in a competition of worthiness with me – late in the evening, long after all had gone to sleep, I was still stewing, & it was then that it would come to torment me, like an unseen mosquito in the dark room –
You should be doing better.
You’re missing something – what is it? If you were trying harder, you’d get it…
If you were different, you’d be getting it instead of chasing it.
It’s pointless. Give up.
There were a lot of givens that I had accepted at face value, things that I’d picked up from a life inside The Machine…through observation & experience… others didn’t seem to be living a full life either. A real life. Something enjoyable, regardless of life circumstances. Like living for Jesus was something that we’d told ourselves was the best life there was, all the while living a drastically different reality. Hollow & empty. Spent like a tube of toothpaste that has been squeezed out until there’s absolutely nothing left to get from it. That’s how life felt. The duplicity of it haunted me. Nauseated me. Challenged me. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? This should not be so.
I went to a conference for vocational ministers & someone quoted Eugene Peterson to the crowd – something about how the words “BUSY” & “PASTOR” should never be used together – & how a “busy life” is a travesty… It went over my head – inside I scoffed. Busy was success – it meant doing lots of things, & the more things that a pastor did, the stronger he was. The better he was. The more effective he was. Only those who “couldn’t handle so much” weren’t busy. The weak ones. The ones that hadn’t learned effective multi-tasking.
Arrogance. Without life. Pain & hurt, more hurt than I’d want to admit. Emptiness. Anger at being ripped off, holding title to worthlessness, refusing to give in, refusing to give up.
And still, the hope of life in all of its fullness kept me going…
I was here
as was i
i am here…. still here….nope haven’t left yet…..still here…
okay i am leaving now…..
really….. here i go….
Your mom was here.
when i go on business travel, i see the “tube of toothpaste” reference/analogy up close and personal. what i see is many business and vacationing people playing with communication devices– totally being absent from the here and now. people in their presence that they’re with or by– are just empty #s that aren’t the priority of now. so, it’s not the now we live, but it’s the interruptions and busyness we live. to engage our current moments, we must learn a new mode of focusing/prioritizing how we’ll behave in each moment. it’s a decision to slowly wean ourselves from distractions/noise/calls/e-mails. to engage right now means i’m not always available to everyone that thinks they need me right now. each moment and issue will be addressed when it is. this is harder than it sounds, because we’re programmed to be multi-tasking. multi-tasking is another term for allowing our tubes of tooth-paste to be squeezed and left feeling empty and/or a slave to the busy machine. our current society doesn’t help us in disconnecting from the life-zapping of multi-tasking. our jobs and other systems/institutions expect certain task/job performances and in order to keep our jobs–we perform according to their measuring stick. to separate or change gears from work mode to living mode is truly a challenge– but brings life in its fullness and joy/peace have a chance to flow-in.
first time im saying “i was here” in a blog. i feel so conformed.