But somehow my society really loves to take excerpts and run with them to create perspectives and that's given me pause this afternoon. I am not insecure of how or what I write, but today I feel fear that what actually is happening is not helpful. Is what I'm doing perpetuating the social media frenzy? Is it provoking others to judge or envy or pity or doubt? Am I causing more harm to you than gain? Today, I am experiencing a healthy dose of stoppage.
The past few weeks my mind has been a flurry of consistently big thoughts. Not-so-subtle shifts in how I'm seeing and experiencing and pursuing my people and my time. A lifelong friend and I ate Indian food and then went for a drive last night. We continued the conversation we've had a dozen different times this month. A conversation about slowness, methodical living, purposeful time, simplification.
These are words that are constantly rattling in my mind recently. How do I take out more things for the sake of putting in deeper things. Deep things in my life can't live in massive community, they are introverted changes, needing room to breathe and time to latch on. Deeper rest, deeper relationships, deeper attitudes, deeper fun. I've made lists recently of things that can provoke timeliness in my life to let them stew. Things I know I already like to do, but placing them in bulleted form somehow gave them more teeth, a simpler way to decide what to do with my free time.
And my worry comes from these changes in myself. There is nothing about these thoughts that I don't find helpful or I fear sinful, but what I really fear is that I'm deciding somewhere in this that everyone ought to grow as I am growing. Or said differently, you ought to think and be like me because my thoughts are profound enough to be blogged. I don't think this blog has been that arrogant all the way through, but this week I have noticed this shift of expectation.
In the slowness I've been pressing into, the depth and moments of change make me want to share. They instill in me a desire to provoke others to experience the same. I start to see my changes as being THE changes. The ways I sin as being the ways EVERYONE sins. And while that may be true, I would be loathe to miss the forest for the trees in learning how to just offer suggestions or anecdotes to those around me.
Rather than sharing my sanctification in a way that offers rest in the grace I myself am receiving, I find myself offering it as an insinuation, a nuanced but horrible shift. I hope this maybe hasn't been felt by others in the garish way I'm seeing it exposed in my heart, but somehow I think my messiness is pervasive enough that it's been felt by others.
Amazingly enough, Jesus doesn't just change me, He changes how I change too. I think that's why frustration and a felt lack of progress is often how we feel as we're noticing His work in our lives. He's not just changing the thing in us, if He were, we could just learn the rules and move forward and be better. But He insists that the way I change is also writ with sin and needs to be altered as well. He doesn't leave a stone unturned as He roots out sin in me for my good. It only leaves room for me to lean heavier on Him.
And that's the part I don't worry about. The "how" of His teaching never actually outweighs His presence. Becoming a "better person" is a garbage pursuit, I will never be better. But in His shadow I can be healed from my worstness. And that progress is often uglier than I'd like it and not very blog-worthy, but perhaps most of all should be shared.
By His wounds I am healed and you are healed. We are offered healing from ourselves and our selfish, worry-worthy tendencies and each others arrogant and insensitive actions toward each other. I don't have to offer you the list of things He's showing me to enact in hopes that you pick up my sanctification. I can offer you the same thing I'm always offered, grace to be. Grace to hear your pain and mundane and your minor frustrations and your immense joys. To hear them and believe for you and with you that Jesus changed everything this Easter weekend so that we don't have to remain in these places.
That's what I really hope to be offered by you as I worry that I am ruining all of your lives. And that's what I pray I'm learning to offer you. I'm thankful for you little readers and I'm sorry for my frailties in this outlet--and all the others that I may interact with you. Pray for me and I will pray for you and we can remember for each other that Jesus finds us here.