Skip to main content

walk on

This past week has been a bit of an upheaval for me. I don't really do new year's resolutions, but as I began to contemplate some areas of my life and where they were going, something slammed me hard: for several days I felt alone and overlooked and neglected and like someone had taken a big chunk of my chest and ripped it out. There was a gaping wound and vacuum where a sense of belonging and companionship and love should have been. This made me take a long hard look at the relationships in my life and ask questions that I usually don't like to ask.

1. In what relationships am I investing heavily in without much return?
2. In what relationships do I expect the other person to always come over to my side of things?
3. In what relationships does the other person usually expect me to come to their turf?
4. What people are ready, willing and able to spend quality time with me and invest in who I am?
5. What people make me feel like they always want something from me, like the relationship is based on their needs?
6. What relationships make both parties come alive and carry a good balance of give and take and most importantly, are a place where both of us are always truthful?

After an honest look and a few heart-wrenching observations, I have decided to focus my friendship and relationship efforts on only a few people this year, and those are the people that I feel genuinely give life to me and receive life from interaction with me. This does not mean that I will neglect all the needy people around me or refuse their requests, but it does mean that I will try not to work from expectations (mine as well as others) anymore, but from truth.

I want to be more honest with the people who are my friends (and with myself) and not feel like I must avoid upsetting people by stifling or adjusting what I honestly feel and think. I have found myself saying more of what I truly think and see to a few people (with an attempt to be gracious, of course), and they have responded in the most wonderful and embracing way, proving that they also want to pursue truthful and growing friendships.

These few friends are people that I can learn with, that I can grow with, that get as excited by positive opportunities for change as I do. They are not easily offended and have plenty to give and are not too proud to receive. I have spent too much of my life trying to be a mediocre friend to pretty much everyone that displays some interest in me or pursuing people that feed some deep, dark craving in my needy soul. Enough of that. It is time to bring all this stuff out of the closet into the light, to sort out the old and worn and ill-fitting habits. And to bring out the garments that are made for this season, that really bring out who I am.

Let me respond to the life I find in those friendships that God is feeding and not settle for endless servings of inadequate and unmet expectations based on insecurity and need instead of love.

These are Dean's boots inside the door of the house in St. Lazare. They are made for walking.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …