Funny that this little line should land in my inbox tonight.
Intense personal obligation.
You mean about things like feeling responsible and stressed about issues with someone else’s child’s health insurance, a matter I cannot help with or solve and one they are handling perfectly fine?
Or somehow being available in relationship, all the time, to just about anyone who crosses my path, from the stranger at the back of church, to the friend I haven’t talked to in half a year who calls out of the blue, to the family I live with?
Or possibly about orchestrating peace at a funeral weekend with a large extended family, some of whom I haven’t yet met, and between whom there are a variety of very confusing and seemingly volatile relationships?
This last one is a heavy burden at present, although it’s a burden no one asked me to shoulder. When parties on all sides are loudly calling on everyone else to grow up and act like adults, well, I feel infuriated and queasy, wondering if I’ll even be able to hold myself together and act like an adult in the middle of it all. I am just not that good at hiding my anger or other emotions. As much as I’d like to bring peace with me, I don’t exactly know how one becomes a peaceful person. If peace is a feeling, I’m not feeling it right now. If it’s a gift, I’m not sure I’ve received it.
It would always be easier to face this kind of thing if I was in “a good space,” you know, centered. But then again, more often than not, it seems we’re thrown into these sink or swim occasions without all the proper preparation we believe necessary and, more often than not, that turns out to be okay, or even a good thing.
In the middle of it, in the sinking or swimming, in the raging, nauseating, unjust craziness of it all, well, I suppose I can learn to trust Jesus.
He knows the stories. He knows these people, inside and out. He even has me figured out on a level I can only begin to imagine and He isn’t worried. Maybe if I can lay down that intense personal obligation and just reach out for His hand — forget sinking or swimming — I can walk on water.