I have so much time on my hands these days. Here's what I've been up to:
1. I move from sitting on my couch to laying on my bed to standing by the fridge in various sequences.
2. I watch three to four hours of TV a day (in my living room or in my bedroom, that's how I spice it up).
I was whining about this yesterday. I said, “When there isn't anything to do, I just can't seem to do anything.” And then one of those annoyingly wise people in my life said, “There's too much to do for you to do nothing. The world is too lonely for you to be alone.” She said it kindly, of course.
And of course she's right. It just isn't true that there is nothing to do. There is a world full of things to do. Exciting things that most people don't have the time to do. And of course I don't really need to complain about being alone either, because the fact is that there are a lot of people in the world. A lot.
The reason, then, for what I hope to be human nature and not just my own sloth- can't be that there isn't anything to do or anyone to see. That doesn't really check out. So what's going on here? (That's my question of the day. The topic of this post: What's going on here?)
My friend contacted me a little while ago about teaching art in after school programs. I love students. I love art. I stayed on my couch. I never even clicked the link she sent. Never responded. I played Angry Birds for 45 minutes. What's going on here?
I'm just scared. I think we're just scared.
We're scared to live with that much hope. That much joy. That much freedom. I'm scared to start something on my own. I'm scared to live like that. You put yourself out there and then you're OUT THERE and it seems lonely and like I would be opening myself up to all sorts of pain and failure and disappointment. I want it to be someone else's idea, someone else in charge, someone else who goes for it and I want to follow behind them at a safe distance.
Here's the thing I've been learning of late (one of a million): You can't cut yourself off from pain without also cutting yourself off from joy. It doesn't work. You can't cut yourself off from risk without cutting yourself off from deep love. We don't hope, we don't go for it, we don't live because we're too scared. It's occurring to me that in my attempt to stay safe I'm losing life as I was called to live it: abundant and free and full of faith and hope and love. I want to want a life like that more than I'm scared to have it.
"So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, 'I am holy; you be holy.'" 1 Peter 1:13-16