Do you ever feel like you're dealing with things beyond your age or ability?
That's kind of how this past couple weeks has felt. The decisions. Oh the decisions! Not to mention the responsibility. It's exhausting.
But there's something good about it too. It forces you to really think about things. And I think the fact that these things, these decisions have come to you says something. It is like the world is defending it's belief in you and your ability to rise above your own expectations.
There's nothing more compelling than a person who gives you something seemingly beyond you and saying, "I believe in you. You can do this. And you can do it well."
It's exhilarating, fulfilling, exhausting, and terrifying.
Also, it puts things in perspective. It makes me grateful that I don't have to deal with these big things, these things so beyond me everyday. Some people, a lot of people around the world, deal with big, life and death, sunrise to sunset, things that are so much greater than they are, so much weightier, so much more grave than they should ever have to know.
I did this race a couple weeks ago. A 25K we were doing for these kids in Haiti. The first 10 miles were great. The last 5 were hilly and definitely not without difficulty. By mile 13 you're just kind of running for the finish line, and you keep running regardless of how your legs feel because you're almost there. Almost. This is where your mind's concept of time can become ruinous. So around mile 14 when I'm just thinking about the finish, I hear this yelling behind me, "Heads up! Make way!" Up comes this little team of runners, pushing a boy in a wheelchair, calling for cheers and whoops for their last mile. I was so overcome - to see this incredible team of runners who had just pushed and run with this disabled boy through 10 great miles and 5 hilly ones. That was just what I needed to finish. And to finish well.
So, friends, whatever you do, finish it well.
After a week packed with decision and responsibility and stress, I needed a sabbath. I was reminded of what it means to celebrate shabat. On the sabbath, you ask, "What feeds your soul?" And you do that. To know the sabbath rest is to feed your soul. And so I did - at my very favourite cafe, with this incredible book, without a phone or computer, and with a dry and thirsty soul.
So this weekend, amidst whatever else you do, feed your soul.
I've been talking a lot with a friend of mine about peace and suffering and discerning the direction of your life. So far we have more questions than answers, which is pretty standard these days. We can't figure out how it works, how you're supposed to know which way to go, how you're supposed to give a yes or a no or really go after something. I think there is this really complex and beautiful tandem relationship between the will and desire of God and your own inclination and strength of character.
I used to think that when things were right, you would experience a total peace. Divine peace. Wholeness. Shalom. I believe that is what God desires for us. It is how we were originally created to be and it is what, I imagine, we are ultimately seeking most. But now? In the brokenness? Things are a little more complex. It's like we are knowing the not peace in order to know the complete peace. Remember Lazarus? How Jesus stayed where he was two days, knowing his friend was sick and dying, so that Lazarus didn't just experience healing, he experienced resurrection.
The same way that Lazarus lived in his illness, in Jesus' silence for two days, I think we might experience some of the suffering, some of the grief, so that we can experience the resurrection.
We bear the burden, to finish well. We endure the week, to feed the soul. We live in the tension of our brokenness and longing, to celebrate resurrection.
And as we live and move and have our being in the tension of all these things, sometimes you just need to paint outside.
Sometimes you find mushrooms; sometimes you don't.
Sometimes you just have to walk around with your bike helmet on and look for cheetahs. Because you can.
And sometimes you just need to stand in the glory.
I guess that's what happens when you live.