I’m living in a tension. I clearly remember one of my college professors, with her wild hair, breezy dress and birkenstocks, writing in bold ink on the white board this word: Tension. She then continued to give weight to the word. With lines and events of history running parallel and perpendicular she passionately explained that tension is where we find the meaning of life.
I did not understand. I was captivated by her performance, her passion, her zest. I wanted so badly to engage in thoughtful dialogue with my classmates. I wanted to impress her with my own insight. But, I didn’t. I sat there quietly. I stared at the whiteboard with phrases and lines. I didn’t understand how tension could ever be a good thing.
Yesterday morning I woke I early to start the day. I have been pursuing my passions as the sun wakes up. Every morning is different with the little people in this house. Sometimes they wake up right along with me, as if they can hear me breathing from another room. And, then some mornings, like this one, the house is very quiet and still. Yesterday, on the other hand, the excitement began before I could write a word. From cheerios and bananas to a walk down to the park, I nourished and nurtured and never stopped. The Peanut had an early nap time coming her way, on account of the early rising. With one napping and the big two occupied pretending to be spies I found a few minutes at the computer to pursue this passion welling up inside me, the calling that I am coming to understand.
Yes, there were interruptions. Yes, it was only an hour. But, there was something simply marvelous about it. A few years ago, had you asked me what the future held, I would have said, “motherhood.” And yet, the answer is changing. Ask me now and I would answer, “Tension.” The stretching and elongating of and potential of so much is wrapped in this image. It is the fabric of this life being gently stretch for a story to be woven and thread right through. I think this future holds motherhood AND writing AND teaching the Word of God AND fulfilling friendships AND meaningful moments AND dishes and laundry AND dates with my husband AND trips to far away places AND not so far away places AND there’s more…
I don’t think I understood the lesson on tension that day because I couldn’t fathom the pressing and stretching and degree of discomfort in might take to live the most meaningful life. I feared pain and tension seemed painful. Shortly after that lesson I entered an intense season of learning and stretching. The problem was that I was the one applying the force. It was out of selfish ambition or a desire to be found worthy and loved that I stretched and strained. I pushed so hard that it felt like the cord just snapped and all that was left were pieces, stretched out, disconnected and tired.
It wasn’t until those nights in a Big Blue Chair, in the midst of a complete unraveling, when God began to take those pieces, broken and frayed and mend and heal. Slowly and gently He helped me back on my feet and set me back on that line. But this time He was my fulcrum. He was my support and my sustenance. He held my hand as I tried again.
Today is new and fresh now. With this picture and the lessons reeling in my mind I feel like I am stepping on to a tight rope, balancing all He has called me to in this day. I am completely aware that there will be difficult moments in my steps but as I learn what it means to live a life or walk a rope centered in Him and His Word, I tend to trust Him more. I step more confidently. I invite the tension, as without it there would be no rope to walk. The tension gives the cord meaning and purpose and I don’t want to live for anything less.