There’s tension all around. As a mom I live in the tension of needing to hover over my kids one minute to taking a hands-off approach the next. When it comes to ministry and writing, I struggle to stay comfortable and confident with what I’m good at and taking risks with something new. I crave comfort and thrill-seeking adventure. I long for both productivity and rest, discipline and flexibility.
Life tells us to choose.
Have you ever longed for an hour or two alone only to feel guilty and unable to enjoy it once you get it? Or maybe you finally took that dream vacation only to spend your time off checking in on your family/friends (or work) back home? A weekend escape spent working on deadlines.
That’s the tension of life. Being completely content with where we are with the possibilities and hope of what’s to come. It’s a struggle. But I’m finding the way to deal with it is to embrace it and push through it rather than avoiding it or wishing it away. Tension is a part of life.
There are days & weeks when both sides of the tension are necessary, when I can’t forsake one for the other. It’d be easier to make line-in-the-sand decisions of always and never adding rules for ourselves to get in line, forcing ourselves to do what we believe is best or what others want. But then we become like so many who avoid tension by having their head stuck in the sand unable to move and bend with the currents of life.
Mobility is essential. In one moment I must hover over one kid, and in the next. let go. There are times I should stay in my zone and other times I start climbing the next peak. There should be regular times I rest and times when I work like crazy.
Blanket rules don’t make it easier, they usually make us grumpy. That’s why I’m not a huge fan of diet trends. They make me angry about eating and eating is a huge part of life. I wrestle with the tension to eat healthy and enjoy food like so many, but I choose to embrace the tension.
The tension doesn’t always make sense. Methods won’t be the same across the board, and I haven’t found a formula to help me wrestle through it more confidently and come out the other side scar-free (or gluten-free).
I think Jesus knows what living in the midst of tension feels like. For thirty-three years he walked among us on the dusty roads of Nazareth and Jerusalem and Samaria. The Son of God was subject to the limitations of man, of time, of space. I think He wrestled with the pain of the present and the hope of what is to come more than we ever will in our lifetime. I think He understands our tension.
Lately I’ve brought God into the tensions I feel, and right in the midst of it I’ve found this incredible sense of peace. A peace I didn’t know existed- or just had not experienced before to this degree. I’ve gone through more highs and lows in the last couple of months than I can remember, but they have also been some of the most secure and satisfying moments.
You see, right smack dab in the middle of the tension, God is there. He’s there for you too. If you want Him. God cares about you. He loves you. And while the tensions of life may never go away, He can meet you in the midst of it. And that makes all the difference.