Beware the One-Dimensional Life

by Laura on November 30, 2013

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Beware of the One-Dimensional Life.

The seasons when your hours and conversations and energies become hostage to one dictator– however kind, noble or “right” he may be.

The gravity of a one-dimensional life is a strong one. It plays balanced for a while, but eventually pulls every conversation into a vortex about itself.  Hopelessly one-sided, it allows little room for other passions, different opinions, alternative pursuits.

And perhaps the most insidious side-effect? The One-Dimension begins to define you. Somehow, you’re not a gloriously complex human being with value because of the God-breath in your lungs, instead you become the cause, the one-dimension which morphs all else, Gollum consumed with his ring of power.

And me? I can speak on this imbalance with authority because my Fall has been woefully one-dimensional. I’ve taken up the cause of freedom and it’s nearly eaten me alive. I’ve sacrificed on the altar so much, too much. My kids, my marriage, my friendships, my health, my spiritual walk. And heaven-forbid, a hobby of any kind, good for my soul.

The swirling winds of girls in brothels and the money needed to rescue them has become a tornado that has sucked me from the Kansas of a balanced life and dropped me rudely into an Oz– a world with great beauty and greater danger, a place where every ounce of presence is consumed with defeating the Wicked Witch of the West.  I’ve spent four months, well realistically an entire year, in foreign territory fighting for social justice, while helping build a nonprofit to bring it, and I’ll be honest, I feel like it’s taken every shred of my ability, energy and margin. And while it may feel noble, I’ve learned that even the most noble of things can wreck your life and steal the things that are even more important– like the hearts of your kids, the care of your own soul, the romance of a husband, your very identity.

But this last month especially, I’ve found myself weary of Oz and longing for home. Clicking my red, sparkly heels, squeezing shut my eyes, and desperately wishing for the Auntie Em of a more balanced life. 

Mercifully, the Fall season of traveling is nearly over for us– the hours both Matt and I have logged in airports over the last four month winding down. We’re inching into a rhythm with the people we work with at The Exodus Road, and I’m finding that frozen meals aren’t the worst evil in motherhood. I’ve begun to put my phone down more often, check email less. I’ve read in the mornings, instead of worked. I’ve started having people over to dinner again. I’ve taken my kids rock climbing and pottery painting. I’ve called the sitter for a date tomorrow night. I‘ve begun to usher in other dimensions again. 

And, gratefully, so gratefully, after a week of vacation here as a family at home and with some intention, I’ve found myself transported back to that little house in Kansas– the place of healthier balance.

And Kansas may be black and white, it may even contain its own wicked neighbors on bikes, but it is where I belong– the only place I can live for the long-haul. 

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Struggle with living a one-dimensional life? Is a cause of a belief dangerously becoming your identity? Which one?