Trued Tension

In Eclipse on June 24, 2008 at 2:34 am

I carry with me an absolute insistence to figure things out.  I want the answers before I ask the questions.  When a difficult question is asked, I am frustrated if I do not have the answer.  Even in my daily time to sit down and focus for writing, I am already playing out all the end solutions of this work.  It is as if I want the story of my life to be told without having to live it.

This morning I met a friend at the gym to lift weights.  When we were parting ways, he asked me to go again on Wednesday.  Although I had resolved only to meet up with him once a week, I found myself consenting or giving into his request.  I found myself consenting to his needs or desire without keeping hold of my own.  I let myself be overcome or out-of-control to his needs.

Even sitting on the street corner, I wrestle with the desire to do something that is of value.  I would not cherish the provision of the moment, but rather insist on being needed or of value to someone else.  My mind seeks out strategies of how to become valueable to others.  Some of these strategies include: going to grad school, getting the ‘higher paying’ job, and trying to win the favor of my coworkers.  And the list goes on.  None of these things are inherently bad things, but for me at this time, they stem from the security of being valuable to others.  Donald Miller talks about trying to prove why I belong on the lifeboat.  I do that with my actions.

In the midst of these musings, there is tension.  A tension which I cannot escape.  I would immediately retreat from the desire to be valued into a place of isolation.  Indeed I often revere the ability to cut off from the constant needs around me.  I call it stress management.  In order to have some separation from the demands of work, I find a way to separate from the needs.  This can be a great thing, but it can also tend toward isolation or self-insulation.  I protect myself from the hurts, pains and needs around me.

But, how to hold these musings in the tension?  How can we remain in the challenge of the questions without insisting on having the answer?  My coworker extended me some of her snacks today.  However, I had closed off to receiving from her last week; because, it seemed she was taking advantage of my sharing with her.  How can I me stilled and remain in the midst of tension and struggle?  I suspect if I am able to endure what Dan Tocchini refers to as ‘the violence’, I may find hidden provision for each moment.

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