So much being written these days about "quiet stillness" and "slowing down" and "taking time to just be". I've been the source of some of it in recent months and years! How boring. How overdone.
And here I go ("again", my grumpy critics would say - all critics are grumpy)
Fine. Here I go again...contradicting my own self.
I am so comfortable with that. First of all, life is full of paradox and replete with contradiction. I can have a good day and a bad day, all in the same day! I want to live a simplified-sort of life, yet I want to accomplish a thousand worthy goals. I can love someone and sometimes not like them. The only thing I can't do is care and not care enough to take responsibility at the same time. But I hear that some folks manage to do it. If that is you, please tell me your secret. Because when I don't take responsibility, I would have to admit that it is because I don't care.
But in general, I am on good terms with contradiction. I understand it. Rainbows cannot exist without two seeming opposites (sun, rain) coming together.
Think of me as the personification of a rainbow. I am colorful. I am a study in contrasts. Get over it. I don't care, and therefore refuse to be responsible. It's my blog. If it bothers you, go read someone boringly bored-in on one perspective. Go read the stilted paragraphs of an intellectual knot-on-a-log, who just happens to be really trying hard to think pretty, happy thoughts, to compensate for being innately grumpy about everyone else's salvation. Go read an Arminian. Me? I happen to own it all! (see blog post from August entitled "I Own That")
Contradiction, contrast, paradox, mystery...it all belongs to me, and it all fills me with unjaded - and some tell me contagious - delight.
So. I'm completely worn out, and it is wonderful. My life is anything BUT quiet and sweet and still-ly serene, and that's something to be jealous of. I've learned that all that "simple, quiet" stuff is all so much bull, anyway. Two types of people carry on about being quiet and serene, as if it were better than being beautiful and busy: people who are bored with too much time on their hands, or people who have not yet mastered the art of inner stillness, regardless of outer circumstances.
No one has the authority to talk to you about the stillness of God unless they are currently in the middle of the busiest, most complicated season of their life. No one has the authority to talk to you about scheduling unless they don't have the time to talk to you about scheduling, but they fit it into their schedule anyway. No one has the authority to talk to you about joy unless they are always smiling, after having to fight for their joy. No one has the authority to talk to you about mending fences unless they have mended most of theirs, and no one has the authority to talk to you about relationships unless they are busy loving a whole lot of people.
No one has the authority to talk to you about authority unless they themselves are under authority.
Yeah - Biblical logic trumps everything.
I've been too busy on one side, and I've been too still on the other side. Being too busy is better.
See...being too still makes you feel exhausted. Being too busy makes you feel exhausted, but for all the right reasons.
And that kind of exhaustion is both appropriate and curable. All it takes to cure that kind of fatigue is a bath or a nap. I find myself awakening early in this season of my life, feeling rested and ready most days. I typically lay in bed for awhile longer, savoring the start of a new day, and that is about all the "quiet time" I ever see.
I have recently decided that...honestly, now...I love it. I'm tired, and I'm delighted! I'm worn out from doing the work of tending relationships, and diving into new friendships, sink or swim! I'm tired from the creative outflow of writing, planting, harvesting, helping others, growing, mastering new skills, making new intellectual connections and maintaining all I've studied so far. It takes a whole lot of effort to do what you know!
Next year, I might prattle on about the simple, still life again. If I do, I hope I find a way to make it interesting. For now, I'm burning the candle at both ends, and it feels like a party.
It is both healthy and desirable to burn the candle at both ends, when you can afford another box of candles anytime you want them. An empty schedule equals an empty life. My daytimer is crammed full of names and events.
Such a full life. Makes me tired, just writing about it.