Our Opposing Realities

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Gary | 9 comments

It’s amazing and frustrating how opposing realities can exist simultaneously – and this tension can often create a great deal of confusion. As I have observed and thought about this reality, I find that these tensions are both inevitable and necessary. Here’s my short list.

Aggressive and Waiting

We must not call an unwillingness to move – waiting on God. Nor should we design our own destiny through manipulation and striving and call it God’s will.

We must move with passion and intentionality toward the things that God has put on our heart, but with an attentive ear (and eye) toward God, understanding that what we now know is partial and incomplete and perhaps a little misdirected.

Undiminished and Deferring

We need to fully offer who we are (undiminished) and yet encourage others to bring their splendor, brilliance, abundance forward (deferring to others).

As we begin to offer the glory of our life, we must not make it “all about me” or “my moments”. Nor should we allow another to diminish our glory in order to showcase theirs.

Simplicity and Complexity

We need to live a simple, uncluttered, focused, intentional life.

We must not live a simplistic, naive, unrealistic life of denial and isolation.

Present-Focused and Past-Aware

We need to live in the present, not the past or the future.

However, we need to own our past by dealing with the effect it has had on us, learning from it and observing the trajectory God has us on now and in the future.

Joy and Sorrow

We must pursue the joy of the Lord, not settling into pessimism or fatalism.

We must also not pursue a life of pleasure, becoming narcissistic, closing our hearts to the lives, pain and suffering in this world.

Together and Alone

We can’t understand our self, the world we live in, or the love of God, alone. We must let the lives of others intermingle with our own.

We can’t understand the heart of God or our own heart if we are always in the swirl of others. We must disengage and quiet our heart in order to hear our own life speak and to hear the voice of God.

Tensions create a need for guidance, protection, wisdom, self-examination and counsel – in other words, God.

Let’s allow the discomfort of tension to drive us toward God – and into frequent times of quieting our heart, re-reading what He has written to us, listening for His voice and relaxing in His fathering love.

Living in the tension with you,

Gary Barkalow

9 Responses to “Our Opposing Realities”

  1. KAREN BAUER says:

    This is one of your BEST posts EVER!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I could use this in poster form on my wall. ;0)

  3. Thanks Gary,

    This is such a great unearthing of the blessings we receive through the God led tension. Your words drive me to the image of the golden gate bridge. If it did not have those tension cables then we would never have the images of that beautiful bridge by the bay. The same goes for us, what beauty is being revealed when we accept our tensions, live with them and through them rather than striving to eliminate or just ignore them. As always, you’re right on the money. Thanks again!

  4. Bob Cain says:

    Great graphic to illustrate this message. Beautiful refreshment surrounded by barren wilderness. Man does my life often feel just like that! You’ve raised what I’ve been feeling lately. How can life point me toward both optimism and despair at the same time? There’s something very helpful about allowing for the possibility that it is supposed to be exactly that way. While I spend time and energy trying to seek God’s provision and favor (or at least relief), sometimes it seems that all God wants me to understand for the moment is that His hand has not been removed from my life. It’s like He’s saying, “Hold on, son. Wait on me. My hand will move and your life will be blessed and your life will be a blessing.” I guess the struggle that leads to the blessing is what builds up our strength to carry it when it comes.
    Be blessed, Gary.

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