I have been in a funk for the past few days. If you know me at all, you know that this is nothing new. I tend to be in funks a lot, especially in slower times of life when I am not constantly kept busy with activities and social interaction. I have, since the end of high school, and thereby organized church, sport, and camp activities, dreaded summer. Everyone seems to empty out of Arkadelphia and I end up feeling lonely, bored, restless, the list continues. This summer I tried to embrace the slower pace, the free leisure time, and the opportunity to relax. Unfortunately I have absolutely no practice at relaxing. I have been told by virtually every friend, boyfriend, relative, and what-not, that I do too much. Too much thinking and analyzing, too much working, too much keeping distracted. The problem is not that I don’t WANT to relax, it’s just that I have no idea what that even looks like.
So it got me thinking, go figure. Why? Why am I soooo bad at relaxing to begin with? What is it that I think is on the other side of that bubble bath?
Plain and simple, when I really examine my thoughts and attitudes, being still is scary because it’s just BEING not DOING. I have always defined myself by the things I DO, not by who I am BEING. After all how could being, well, be – enough?
But I am not what I do or achieve, I am what I AM when I am doing and when I’m not, it’s the same person. Somehow in my little impressionable mind I must have really bought into the whole “idle hands” thing, so now I have a warped sense of purpose. I have been equating holiness with busyness. I honestly have never felt that who I am, at this very moment, is enough. I am a people pleaser, a performer by nature, always needing someone’s approval to feel full, purposeful, to feel enough. To feel worthy of all I have been blessed with. I argued with my sister just last week about God’s desire for direct specific influence in the details of my life. It’s not that I don’t believe that God acts in peoples lives, I just couldn’t fathom ME being one of the ones worthy of his time. I hadn’t done anything after all. The concept of salvation by faith through grace is not new to me, but it’s implications for me are.
The thing I realized is this. Salvation isn’t this one day event, it isn’t even praying a prayer or making a decision or jumping in a pool to get pushed under by an old guy in a white robe. Salvation is manifest in the act of living courageously, loving boldly, and enjoying fully. That is really that is all that is asked of us. If we live greatly we are fulfilling our real purpose. God created us to LIVE! To feel, to experience, to enjoy and glorify! The details of what we do, how we spend our time, who we confide in, ARE important, but they don’t determine whether we are doing life “right” or not.
Being in life is right.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are better decisions and there are worse decisions, but the only bad decision is the one unmade. Ask any mountain climber what the number one rule, when faced with life threatening circumstances, is. Keep making decisions and acting on them. Many of you have seen that I like to quote Elizabethtown a lot with
“All forward motion counts.”
But I am now saying — all motion counts. Which ever direction your facing it’s forward that way anyway.
But that is still a little more doing oriented than what I really mean. I guess a better metaphor for it is this:
It’s not about how you make your bed, it’s about how you lay in it.
The passage in the Bible where Moses meets God and God says “I AM” is his name never made sense to me. This “great I AM” what the huh? But when God made us in his image this is what he meant – we ARE like God IS. Our divinity is wrapped around the eternal properties of soul. Circumstances change, our planet revolves around the sun, and we perceive time passing, but though what we DO changes, the fact that we ARE doesn’t.
Right now, I’m in bed and I’m smiling, listening to Colin Hay and Billy Joel, missing my ex, craving pasta, feeling tired, and not achieving anything noteworthy, and it’s enough because I AM. And I am enough.