From highschool student to young single, from tired parent to even-more tired empty-nester, our days can often be defined as a fight for the things that matter. This article is about that struggle, and following the post, I’ve added some questions my husband asked me after I told him what I wrote about this afternoon . . .
Life lately is a swim upstream.
It’s a battle against the current, a struggle against the oncoming tide.
It’s a season where so much seems like a fight–
in fostering my spiritual life and romancing my husband and pursuing Community.
It’s a hard swim against the oncoming waters–
in exercising routinely and disciplining my kids and stepping out to serve.
And I so often want to give up, take a breather, and coast for a while– even if it means the rushing waters take me downstream. These days I am tempted by the path of least resistance– though usually not better, it is typically easier.
And this path of least resistance for me looks like sleeping in most mornings and watching too much tv most nights. It’s staring at the computer instead of talking to my husband after the kids are asleep. The rush downstream is ignoring that disobedience and not inviting that family to dinner in the name of convenience. In my journey on this River, it translates into a Bible that stays closed too often and tennis shoes that don’t have enough dirt on the treads.
And when I think about what my life would look like in a month or a year or ten if I stopped the swim, if I just let the waters take me, I pause. Because the path of least resistance could lead —
to kids that resent me because I missed their hearts,
to an unhealthy body and a dry soul,
to a marriage that leaves me feeling alone,
And so, and so, I set my sights upstream.
I clinch teeth, and I move the alarm clock downstairs.
I renew resolve, and I make an exercise chart.
I dig in heels, and I facebook a friend for a get-together this weekend.
And I choose to
To. Just. Keep. Swimming.
Because, if I can help it, I most definitely do not want the view from downstream.
“Rest assured, any movement towards freedom or life, towards God or others, will be opposed.” – John Eldredge
“That which does not kill us only serves to make us stronger.” – Winston Churchill
“Love always perseveres.” – The Bible
What current are you fighting these days? Where would you be if you chose to stop the fight and give up? What is the “path of least resistance” that you find yourself often being pulled into?
Addendum: I recapped the above post in fragmented conversation (the kind that often takes place in an old car with a loud muffler under the hood and three kids in the backseat) to my husband. He immediately fired back with some questions that I thought worth adding, postPost.
He said (something-like), “Well, babe, yeah, life’s a fight, but you can’t fight all the time. No one can maintain a constant uphill swim. There have to be times when the current is still or you hide behind a rock or something to give you a break from the struggle. And what happens when you’ve lost sight of hope or joy or purpose? What happens when you can’t see the faintest glimmer of what it is so wonderful upstream that you were swimming for in the first place? How do you keep swimming then? And what if you swim really hard, and still end up downstream, anyway– with your marriage or kids or dreams or jobs wrecked and broken?“
Dang that insightful, push-the-envelope husband-of-mine. He asked good questions and made some valid points I thought I’d share — even if I didn’t think of them first.