6/30/2009

Striving

My life has been one long project propelled by a continuously stoked fire of striving. Always a book to read, a story to write, an idea to flesh out. Always. And usually more than one at a time. In the rare moments when someone asks, I’ve often used the metaphor of pots on a stove to explain how I function. My mind is a stove top with five or six burners. I am constantly tending to several pots—projects—at various stages of heat. Some are simmering, waiting their turn. Others are on full boil and need immediate attention. None are cold and stagnant. And there are always pots and heat and tremendous amounts of energy being expended to tend to them; the space is busy and loud. I’ve always written it off as “it’s just who I am; it’s how I am wired” and accepted that I will carry this Burden of the Boiling Basins to my grave.

But lately I have started to question that. More specifically, I have started questioning my motivation. Why do I pour so much energy into these self-inspired projects? Why do I tend to all these burning pots of ideas? Is attributing it to my “wiring” a legitimate excuse for all that striving? What have I gained? More importantly, what might I have missed while engaged in adjusting all those burners? Have I missed something great while striving for good (or worse, mediocre)? Is it possible to hear a different voice when all those personal pots are boiling? Maybe, just maybe, it is time to turn off a couple of burners and rest.

And wait.

And give God a chance to speak. Have I been expecting a shout above the din when He was always calling in a whisper?

One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 (NASB)

5 comments:

Laura Jean said...

wow. I love it.

"My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is in Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense I will not be moved.In God my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah"
Psalm 62:5-8

Jason B. said...

Bravo.

Steve said...

Jay,

I know all about that pot burning stuff. How do you get rid of those pots?
btw glad to see you made it through that storm. Zack and pulled into the parking lot as the rain started falling. By the time we got to downtown it was like Bagdad with bombs falling.

Steve

Anonymous said...

I wonder if in the past there were not so many "burners" going.

I think of David tending the sheep, contemplating God and writing the Psalms.

I wonder about Paul and his revelations from Christ and the time he had to think and write.

Then again the stresses in their lives are evident and that is why God was their refuge and strength.

Kahlua Keeping Koala said...

I see you've stopped striving...