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To Start

In the past couple of months, I’ve mostly been either immured in work and recovering from it, or distracting myself with the gratifications of life in the city. (The ubiquity of LCD panels, the expense of being an agent of consumerism, the ease of navigating public transport and well-lit roads.) Looking back at the time gone by, I know I’ve set aside too little for quiet, because too much of it seems blurry and inconsequential. I’ve also been fiddling around with project ideas and thinking up plans and programs, but they’ve been idle ones, for the most part; I think this restless scheduling is just a symptom of the fear of spending my time inconsequentially, or of being inconsequential.

Those words didn’t come easily, and I was tempted to dismiss it as neurotic self-abasement, but I asked myself again and found that I knew it was true.

I’ve been letting things slip, basically; having to give a definition of myself under pressure, and with the apprehension of becoming other than I am, makes it easy to lose sight of whatever was authentic to begin with. I haven’t been handling stress very well at all. Too often, I’ve been opting to go along with whatever’s moving, which is all too easy to do where I work because things are always moving, and most people are busy keeping up or running hard in the opposite direction; it’s easy to just follow them, too. Everything’s been worse recently because I haven’t kept up the habit of making time (neither me-time nor slack time nor quiet time, depending on whose language I use). The fear of letting things drop and the fear of being less than up to the task makes it even easier to allow myself to be driven and to get caught up in everything. These fears were a lot less overt and a lot more subversive to my mind, of course, but now I see what was there.

So I asked God to forgive me for being willful and sluggish and fearful. I am praying for faithfulness and focus and humility. I am praying that as I contend with authority as well as the use of it, I will look to my first authority.

I think it was on Friday afternoon that I realized I really didn’t want to feel tired and driven anymore. On Friday afternoon I experienced what it was like to set the tempo again, and I realized I missed the feeling. Experiencing it in the course of work was also decidedly refreshing, after feeling kind of out of tune for a long while.

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