January 18, 2010
The past 3 months have been a blur.
When shooting photography, images can come out blurry if the subject or the camera are moving during the shot. It has felt like everything has been moving, and moving very quickly...camera, subject, me, you, and everything else.
I like to think that for most things in life, if I invest much time in thinking about them, eventually something comes to fruition. A song idea becomes at the very least an ugly recording on my laptop. A craving for cheap, spicy chicken leads to the local Wendy's drive-through. A home project eventually materializes, an old friend gets called at some point.
Passion and rest. That's one I have spent countless hours wrestling with, and I'm not sure that it has come to any kind of fruition...yet. I see a balance of these two areas in the Scripture and yet can not wrap my mind around what it is supposed to look like in my life.
The two are intertwined, and in fact spun together into a symbiotic relationship that I have not navigated well. They need each other. Without each other, a host of dangers become apparent. I have felt a strong urging for some time that God has wanted me to revisit the conversation of how passion and rest coexist. All that I do know is that I don't know much about the balance of passion and rest.
I know people who rest a lot and it makes me anxious about the lack of urgency in their life. Sloth seems contagious and I typically spend very little time with these kind of people because I feel like I might catch something. It makes me wonder about the stewardship of the hours and days God has given us, and the stories Jesus told about all of us being accountable for what we have, including our time.
I know people who rest very little and they choose a slow and poisonous death. 'Riding it till the wheels fall off' is romantic but completely impractical because the wheels do in fact come off and now you have a vehicle traveling at high speeds with passengers on board and pedestrians around and everyone's life is in danger.
I error with the latter group. I have in fact realized recently that I tend to run in circles of people who live 100mph most of the time. Athletes trying to make the pros. Professionals making the next deal. Musicians trying to make a career. Ministers trying to pour themselves out for the Gospel (a more noble cause, but a group that needs the balance even more because of what is at stake).
I have a really hard time resting. There are many reasons for this, some chemical and some deeply embedded in my heart. My A.D.D. doesn't help my efforts to slow down, but neither does a flesh pattern that seeks approval and worth in productivity. Medication could help my attention deficit, but will not change my heart condition. Yet, I still feel like God is asking for me to do the hard work of figuring this out. I guess He is not impressed or dissuaded by my excuses.
If we ignore God's leading in our life, He will often bring about circumstances that allow us to take Him seriously. This is important for Him to do, because we are not very good listeners and we often are not very good caretakers of ourselves and others. In the last few months I have seen mental, physical, and spiritual manifestations of the pace of life I keep. Sleep issues. Lack of mental retention. Chest pains. Tripping over my words. I even got out of the shower with shampoo still in my hair. This is not normal. I have felt out of balance, like the scales have been tipped for so long that the scale itself in rusting into a dangerous position.
As if all that wasn't enough: I was cleaning the American icon that is the kitchen junk-drawer and came across a small plastic tube that is found in a carpenter's level. Whatever casing it fell out of has been rendered useless for it's only purpose in the universe...showing what is level and what is not.
I took that as not a coincidence but a comical and poignant reminder from God that I too need rest. Pray for the leaders of Living Stones as I see a weariness in the mirror and through office windows that can only be remedied by our Rest.
"Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest..."