stop and start

We are made to stop and start.

From the beginning of creation, the Lord created space for us to just be.
To rest. To stop.
He continued that with the Psalms, instilling in them a place for the singer to stop. The Sela, a “meditative interlude” as Richard Foster defines.

This stopping is even more so defined during the Eucharist. This Communion with the Creator “forces us to keep coming back to the Great Sacrifice – Jesus’ body broken.” Not only does the Lord build into our lives a constant place to stop, amidst our constant going, he uses common, ordinary elements to bring us back to our Center in Him.

But, there is a strong temptation to always be “on” and available. Even when we are resting, we so easily fill our lives with noise. It is a devilish temptation that is working.

I am surrounded in my home by things that make me available to everyone at all times. And the guilt that can overtake me when I ignore those things is amazing. And as I fail in my attempt to take that “sela” I must keep going. Even as weeks go by and a practice that I had hoped to have made into a necessary habit has been ignored, I must pick it up again.

But that is grace. Grace is a circle that is unending. The knowledge that He is always there, always waiting and always standing ready for me to stop and listen. And then start again, closer to Him.

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the two “p’s”

I was asked this week to think about how I picture my life; what I think¬† I am striving for day to day. It was a crazy hard question to ponder. But as I’ve thought and prayed on it all week, two words came into my head: perfect and passion.

A few week ago, it was brought to my attention that I am a perfectionist. To which I replied, “no, I’m not. I just throw myself into things 150%, which is good right?” Um, no. In throwing yourself 150% into a task, you are basically demanding, in so many ways, that the outcome will be perfect. But it has dawned on me this week…I don’t throw myself to fully into a task or way of thinking or whatever because I am passionate about it, but because I want to do a good job. I want perfection.

So,¬† what I’m striving for day to day is perfection. My anxiety, my fear, my worries are all from striving for something that I can’t get in this world right now. Edith Schaeffer cuts to the heart when she declares that “when people insist on perfection or nothing, the get nothing. When people insist on having what they daydream is a perfect relationship, they will end up in having no relationship at all. When people waste the time they could have – by screaming for more – they will have no time at all. The waste of what could be, by demanding what cannot be, is something we have all lived through in certain periods of our lives.”

What has been so hard for me to grasp is that I don’t intentionally demand perfection, it’s an underhanded sort of thing.
It’s in the way that I order my day,
order my household
and family.
It’s demanding structure, where there isn’t any or need not be any.
It’s a lack of trust that God truly does have me in the palm of His hand and He is ordering my days.

Perfection is, broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness…it is Eden.

So as I think about how I would like to spend my days striving for, I think of passion.
I want to throw myself into a task,
a vision,
the making of a home and family
or whatever because I am passionate for it.
Not because I want to make it all work out.

Think of an artist, he/she throws themselves fully into their art with passion. I doubt in the midst of it they are concerned with the outcome or with making it perfect, but are absorbed in the process because of the beauty in the process.
I want to be absorbed in the process of daily life with my family
because I am passionate for them.

Because I am fearless in my love for them.

So I begin this journey of letting go of my
and fear
and anxiety
and I strive and pray daily for passion,
and peace.

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