Striving and not

I’ve been pretty straight with y’all that striving and grasping are two of my major areas of sin/temptation.  I’m forever trying to go things alone, to stride forth in my own strength, and yelling at myself when I’m not on schedule (preferably ahead-of-schedule) with reaching my goals.

I set pretty high personal goals this year.  And then I cc’d my pastor (well, he did ask), so I feel super accountable to be making progress all the time.

Guess it was time for a little attitude adjustment.  I spent half of February and a good chunk of March sick as a dog.   Too sick to work out.  Too sick to think or write most of the time.  Just floppy.  And I was going *insane*.  Not only does it bug me when I can’t think or move, I wasn’t making any progress!  I was letting my people at the gym down!  I couldn’t possibly make my goals if I DIDN’T WORK!

But I didn’t get where I am on my own.  I didn’t find crossfit on my own – why am I going crazy ’cause I’m not training?   Why am I driving myself insane ’cause … well.  Why?

Because I’m all about doing things on my own.

Is that how I’m supposed to live, in my own strength?  Oh, that’s prideful.

I see this when I counsel.  If I pray before I counsel, the words come.  Sometimes some very specific words come (that’s word-of-wisdom) and there’s a pressure to say those words very much like the pressure of being under conviction of sin.  It would be a sin not to say whatever it is that I need to say.   And folks come back and say, “this really helped” and I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, but that soooo wasn’t me, I didn’t even want to say that”.

And that’s good.  I like that.  But I’m such a dork.  Even when I’m having awesome counsel, I can’t just *shut up* and stop talking when I’m not given words.  Because I have to add stuff to be relateable (this is tots my worst counselling sin) or fill the silence or … just “have I said enough”?   And then I worry that I said the wrong thing… because I was leaning on ME.

To whom much has been given, much is required.  And I want to do well.  I want to do stuff.  Lots of stuff.  I *like* striving.

But it’s not my gig.  Strive in the moment, when I’m given the job to do?  Yes.  Plan the week ahead with more work than five women could do?  No.

The lesson to learn is to respond to God, to respond to the opportunities that He has given me.  And boy howdy has He set opportunities to reach even the most microscopic of my goals in front of me lately.  BUT – I’m not supposed to hunt, stalk, and pounce those opportunities for myself.

Does that make sense?  To accept the gift when it is given, to take the step that is in front of me, to say the word that’s on my lips, to pray as I’m directed… but not to grasp or strive for any of that, just to rest in the Lord.  Not very Western thinking.

Talk to me.

9 thoughts on “Striving and not

  1. Jenny

    I have been thinking about this also, but differently. Here is a quote I read recently
    “Living in the Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. This life is completely different from the life I would naturally live of myself. Each time I am faced with a new demand from the Lord, I look to him to do in me what he requires of me. It is not a case of trying but of trusting; not of struggling but of resting in him.” ~Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

    I have been working on my listening skills. 🙂

  2. sarahsdaughter2

    but not to grasp or strive for any of that, just to rest in the Lord.

    Patient preparation. For over 20 years I have observed my MIL saying just the right thing at just the right time. She has all of the stories in her possession but tells the tales at just the right moment in time when that story relates to a current situation and can deliver a powerful lesson or heaps of encouragement. When my daughter and her boyfriend broke up, she needed to see Grandma. Mom told me later that before we got there she wondered and prayed “what can I give that will help her right now?” That day I heard, for the very first time in 20 years, the story of my MIL’s first broken heart. How could I have never heard this story before? It’s like it was packaged up within her patiently waiting to be given to someone with a very specific need. When we left her home my daughter was so encouraged and hopeful that this pain will pass and she’ll be better for having gone through it.

    On a related but side note (and a prayer request), my MIL is right now nursing her 38 year old son, my husband’s brother, to his passing. He suffers end stage liver failure. Still she is saying what each of us specifically need to hear at just the right time as our family accepts this and walks through it. She is a mighty woman of strength and hope in the Lord but is sounding more and more tired. She’s long told us that “life is for the living” – but I know she never anticipated this.

  3. Elspeth

    I don’t grasp much, but I strive continually and struggle to trust Phil 1:6. I always feel like I’m not doing enough to move my own progress forward.

    1. hearthie Post author

      I trust … I’m not very PATIENT. I want it now! Now! I could do that! I could do this! I could do all the thingssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If there were five of me. :p

      I worry that I don’t do enough. Seriously not a day goes by that I’m not humbled by parable of talents. The peril of having good parents and a nice life in a gnarly world.

  4. Elspeth

    Just occurred to me that not everyone has the time to go look up verses:

    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Phil 1:6

  5. superslaviswife

    I think we’ve been impatient and prideful since the first humans. It takes a lot to fight that nature and it’s a continual battle. But it’s worth it.


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