leaves of a different color

***

This post hasn’t come easily. It’s been a week in the works, and the phrasing just hasn’t come to me as readily as i might have wanted. My first instinct is to just let it die. If it doesn’t want to flow out, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be written. But by no coincidence it is exactly this instinct which is supposed to be the subject matter of this post, because it not only applies to my writing but also to my life in general.

i am not much of a fighter. Perhaps this is because when i was young everything came easily to me. i never really had to learn perseverance, or discipline, or dedication; there wasn’t very much that was difficult for me that would require these characteristics. i find myself now being much more inclined to let things fall by the wayside if they require any measure of struggle. I was struck by the realization this past weekend that this permeates every corner of my life. i have a massive problem with seeking comfort. This obviously took the form of addictions in much of my earlier life, but even though i have knocked those on the head, the root of the tree is still firmly planted and now simply growing different branches. i find myself clinging to comfort in many different areas. It is hard for me to push through being stuck in my writing (as i have been lately) without wanting to just give it up, and wonder if  i was mistaken about my purpose. i work the hardest at my job when it is producing results, and when it isn’t i have difficulty being motivated. Marriage presents a similar challenge. Most of the time i find myself avoiding conflict simply because i want marriage to be easy, which of course it is not. Most importantly, i find myself doing this in my spiritual life. For a while it seemed like every prayer i had was being answered, every minute i spent in the Word provided some new revelation, and every bit of community i experienced was fulfilling and reaffirming. This has certainly not been the case lately, and it has caused me to really phone it in lately as far as my pursuit of God is concerned.

The good news is, as it was in the beginning, He pursues us and mercifully doesn’t just rely on our whims and passions to keep us in love with Him. It is hard to want to push through seemingly unfruitful spiritual times, but perhaps learning the ability to persevere is what will make the time fruitful. Honestly, do i just think that one day i will wake up and know how to endure? Doubtful. Obviously, if i did not learn this as a child, i will have to learn it now, and there is no way to generate dedication in circumstances where it is not needed. In order to learn it, you must need it. And in the end, somehow that experience will be a greater joy for me than a cakewalk life would be. And i can extrapolate this principle: if that is the case in my spiritual life, i do not think i am overreaching to assume that it is true for other aspects of my life. i will appreciate my marriage more when it has required work, i will feel a greater sense of pride and accomplishment both at work and in my writing if i do not give up on them, but continue to fight even when the chips are down. i can only assume that this is the reason God has brought all of this into my life at the same time. Thus it makes it somewhat easier to be grateful for my life, even if it doesn’t look exactly as cushy as i had wanted. i will be better off in the end if my life has some element of difficulty in it, and He knows this. Thus i will trust Him. Because i don’t have the faintest clue how to be my best me. If i did, i wouldn’t have needed rescuing in the first place.

***

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  – 2 Corinthians 12 : 9

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