It’s been just over 7 weeks since we moved away from Lee’s Summit. We miss both the place and people tremendously. There are many days when we want to hook up the trailer and head back. But there are also moments when we look at one another and knowingly nod while thinking “This is why we moved.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since our sabbatical journey began. We didn’t plan for it to be a year. It just happened this way. But in this year of sabbath we are learning something real and valuable.
For one, we are learning how to rest. Every morning we awake and choose to choose non-anxiousness. Perhaps the reality that we recognize the freedom to make a non-anxious choice is proof enough that we are on a good path. It came as a surprise to us to recognize anxiousness as an imposed power rather than merely an internal feeling. It is an inner reaction to an external power. And it can be resisted. Free people practice resistance of imposed anxiousness. We are finding ourselves grateful for the opportunity to be free to choose.
I remember when we were too distracted to recognize the choice. We assumed busy was the normative way. The power of anxious-inducing busy consumed us. “I’m important” is its unspoken motto. Busy demands an allegiance to pride. Busy is war on the soul. Scattered on the abandoned war-fields of busy-ness are the bodies of doubt and worthlessness. A waste. A neglect of true humanity for something less than human. Less heavenly and more hellish.
We are learning that busy is an imposed power that can be resisted. It’s a choice. A human choice. A choice to be human. A choice to be free.
We are also learning honesty. Honesty is the survival skill required to live in-between the scripts. For those alert to their surroundings, there’s a script of technological, therapeutic, consumer militarism (shamelessly stolen from Brueggemann’s 19 thesis) and there’s an alternative script of Faithfulness. It seems that when one chooses to shift scripts, to move toward faithfulness, there is a pilgrimage required. And only honesty will keep you alive and moving forward.
As a practice of honesty, today I am reading through a growingly impressive collection of emails stating “I regret to inform you that we have determined that you do not have the basic qualifications that are required for this position.” It hurts. I cuss. I wonder if I will ever be able to find meaningful work. And then I fill out some more applications. If you had asked me a year ago what I would be doing today, I’m certain filling out job applications wouldn’t have made the list. But it’s where we find ourselves; unknown, unconnected, and alone.
It will change. We know it will. Because we will walk toward the script of faithfulness. We will continue to choose non-anxiousness and live honestly between the scripts. It’s not a glamorous role, not a busy life…but it’s our reality, and it’s nice to know what’s real.