Sunday, September 18, 2016

An Off Day

Today is one of those days where something just seems off.

Do you know the type of day that I'm talking about?
Something deep within me feels unsettled, unsatisfied... maybe even broken.
It's one of those days where I want to scream at the injustice, where I want to tell people to wake up, to get over themselves, to acknowledge that there's more to life than our comfort and our happiness. To do something different, to want something more, to live a life of purpose.

One of those days where I realize that I'm actually needing to yell all of those things at myself.

There's no apparent cause to unsettledness, but it has barged into my heart, into my soul and reminded me that this world is not my home. Something has bred discontentment, and I find myself waffling, searching, wondering...

And it always begs the questions: so now what? 
What do I need to change about the way that I'm living? What do I need to change about the relationships in my life and how I'm interacting with them? What do I need to change about the way I'm spending my time? What do I need to change about the questions I'm asking, the content of my conversations, my current priorities?

And then the overarching question, the one that pierces deeply... Even if I identify something that needs to change, will I be disciplined enough to actually change it? 
At the end of the day, do I care enough... does it matter enough...?

I wonder how many of us marvel at the idea of change but how many of us are brave enough to actually enact it. How many of us live lives that are ruled by societal pressures, by systems within our jobs, by chasing dreams that leave us richer, smarter, more secure and comfortable. What's the goal, what's the objective, what's the calling?

My husband and I bought a house recently- a house that we'll never live in, but one that we'll be renting out. We hadn't actually seen it until this past week and as we did some minor fixes, I couldn't help but want to change more. What if we did this, or did that...? And immediately I was reminded that none of those changes would benefit me. Which made me immediately unsatisfied with my current living situation. We're basically tenants of a house that isn't ours, a house that we don't have to rent (which we're truly thankful for), but it doesn't allow much room to fix, to change, to make better.

My dust-covered closets.
Who has time to clean these, anyway?
And so I look around the house we currently live in, disgusted by the permanent layer of dust, the dirty carpet, the broken blinds...wishing I could snap my fingers and be living in a house that we could personally invest in (we could, I suppose-it just doesn't make much sense). Immediately I'm even more disgusted by my ungratefulness, by my selfishness, by my incessant desire for more when I've already been given much.

There always seem to be these real, tangible, outward examples of the dirt in my heart. Real examples of how unsatisfied I am, how much like Goldilocks I am.... in all areas of life: This body is too large, this house is too dirty, these dogs are too hairy, I don't read enough, I'm not disciplined enough, I don't have deep/good enough friendships, this church is too long, too boring, too unfriendly, not passionate enough.

I'm too critical.
But I find myself mostly sitting in my criticism and not doing much about it.
Battling the balance between when I need to learn contentedness and when I need to act.

And so I stew.
Some days it's easier to ignore the questions, the doubts, the criticisms, the wonderings on if I'll ever do something.
Some days I actually do something- I seek out people, I wake up early and read, I ask different questions, I have hard conversations that I don't really want to have, I clean up the filth.
And some days I wonder if it's all enough. I wonder what I'm missing, where I'm lacking, how I can be doing different, better, less, more.
And some days it feels too hard.
Some days it feels easier to live like everyone else.

And maybe it's those days where things feel off.
Where something feels broken.
Working toward something. 
Because maybe somewhere I've settled, I've become complacent, I've given up.
Maybe somewhere I'm avoiding my calling-- and maybe that's in small ways, but maybe it's in big ways.
Maybe I just care too much about things that don't actually matter.
Maybe I've lost sight of what it means to consider everything else a loss compared to knowing Christ.
Maybe I don't know how to live extraordinarily in my current circumstances, maybe I'm just living too comfortably. Maybe I'm living too fearfully.

The off days remind me that I want more.
They remind me to ask the questions.
They remind me that there's more purpose to be found... more than 40 days of it.

So today I'll clean and hope it lasts longer than a few days.
And I'll think.
And I'll ask myself some hard questions.
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