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,