The ebb and flow of life

It’s been nearly two weeks now since the last post. Not that I’m boiling over with things to say, but it certainly seems like I write more when I’m a bit agitated. Though today, I feel pretty good all the way around. I guess that’s what happens when you have a great date night with the wife and friends, sans kids. 

It is also interesting that recently my wife and I were talking about the different states we often find ourselves in, the ebb and flow, if you will. There was a time not very many weeks ago that we were devouring books left and right, plowing through all sorts of thoughts and musings on life, our goals, what kinds of people we hope to be. Yet now, we have slowed down significantly in many ways. We are much more contemplative, silent, perhaps even slow. 

And in this slowness, we have discovered something that we’ve been, in a sense, searching for, but haven’t had language or expereince to describe it. My wife and I have been in some surface-y conversations with my family about purchasing land together and pooling resources. For years this idea has been simmering on the back burner, but this past week things became pretty clear, and clear in ways I’m not sure we were expecting. 

We realized through a pretty difficult conversation that we aren’t in the same place as my family. In fact, we are in very different places spiritually, emotionally, politically, even the prominent drivers of our existence are in completely different places. Having put all the pieces together  for the first time, we are ready to head a different direction. We’ve spent a great deal of our lives orienting them around a family that is fundamentally on a different plane than ourselves and we have finally been able to admit that truth, and it’s been awfully freeing. 

There will likely be more difficult conversations ahead, but we are following the path that best suits our family and that seems right and good. 

Maybe I can start writing a little more out of a sense of peace and calm than anger and frustration. That would certainly be a flow I’m not used to. I’ll see how it goes. 

Calling

Since we wrapped up a chapter in our lives church planting nearly 10 years ago, my wife and I have yet to really find what we’re looking for in a spiritual community. 

Something I asked her last night had to do with calling, and what does that look like. I understand in my head that calling may look different from person to person, but I still can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of common thread, a similar moment when most people recognize their calling as, “yep, that’s it.”

Does being called to something mean that I recognize a need, a gap in the way things are and am willing to work to fill that gap? Is it making something work better, being good for more people?

I don’t know for sure, but there is certainly something in my gut that says that my wife and I could certainly be forced for good in the world if we were to actually do what we’ve been talking about. I just feel like I have too much baggage from the past that I’ve allowed to have too much sway over me. There are definitely things I’ve still got to work through: fear, confidence, forgiveness. 

So, what’s stopping us? Really? How can I choose presence and intention and follow that thing in me that’s not okay with the status quo?

I’m not sure yet, other than maybe just do it. Sometimes we need to learn to swim and the only way for it to happen is to be thrown in. I’ll see what happens. 

On purpose

I’m not sure I’ve ever sat down, with full intention, and written down the things that I truly want in life. 

It’s an odd exercise in that I feel like it’s overly selfish. However, so many Buddhist, some Christian and mystical teachers often suggest that in finding oneself, only then can we live into our full potential. When we are doing the things that makes us happy on a gut level, then we can be forces for good in the world. 

So, what do I want to do? As Rob Bell asked, what is it that gives my heart life? There are things I like to do, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to support a family. Having often said that, I wonder why I always use that excuse? Perhaps because I haven’t found what I would truly like to do, rather than something that I like to do. If that’s the case, I have a lot of work to do still to find that purpose. 

I think that may be my meditation for the next week at the very lest. What am I to do? What kind of person do I want to be in the world?

I realize this is kind of an echo of the previous few entries, but I’ve never spent time even asking these sorts of questions, so it all new. I guess I’ll be spinning my wheels a bit until I can get some traction and direction. Hopefully that comes soon, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to be intentional about focusing on the journey and not a destination.