It’s been a tug-o-war, these last 2 weeks, to stretch myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, to cover a lot of ground. Traveling, learning, writing. Saying yes. Saying no. Giving here, and receiving. Ministering over here, and being ministered TO over there. Being the calm one, and being the not-so-calm one. Claiming things from heaven, and then turning around and groveling a bit for the things of heaven, as if I’d lost my footing.
Community. It’s the word that has been swirling in my mind, over and over. Habit. What it means to fall out of an installed habit, what it means to spend years buckling in a child and then one day you just don’t, and it’s the most bizarre feeling… my community baby, if you will, is unbuckled for the first time in a very, very long time. Complacency. I have become complacent when it comes to reaching out outside my inner circle. And now it feels like going back to the gym after a stint of inactivity. Ouch. Flex. Cramp. Sweat. Push. Ache. But you do it anyway, you have to!
And here it is, that while I am headed in the direction of living alone for the next year, that I do not want to be alone. I am purchasing my privacy to live by the hospital, and yet the hospital is not my main priority, but simply where the bulk of my time goes. I see myself making big decisions in alternate directions of my heart’s desire, but with the bumper words “temporary” and “til I’m debt-free” I place myself within the confines of a lifestyle that I hope will not be permanent: working hard hours, letting traffic dictate my address, and having less time to pull the invisible things into visibility, using my leftovers to take the words that float and bind them into strings of story. Hah. But it’s temporary. I spent 2 years creating and exploring, and now the money keeps my adventures limited to 5 days length, with unpleasant remarks and joking threats added, as they still echo in my mind “no more vacations, you hear?” after having asked for 5 days. Be careful what you pray for.
The promise land comes with giants and walls, and trust. The promise land is rarely, rarely uninhabited. The task to gain territory is often two-fold, to evict. I hope you find the courage to evict with zeal the things that do not belong. I hope you fight to have real relationships instead of virtual ones, that making a phone call is better than a status like. I hope you find yourself not scrolling so much on a feed but maybe scrolling what is most important. What is most important?
It’s mid-May and life is about to change in the next month or so. I’m moving. I’m learning. I’m reconnecting with my gracious friends. I’m gonna put back what is most important, the thing that holds me accountable: community. I’m gonna make sure that it isn’t just a school of ministry schedule that keeps me as a faithful friend. It’s about that time to make adjustments, to reinstall the habits that are most life-giving. And because His grace abounds, I have the capacity to abide.
What have you been learning?