A reoccurring discussion I have with Dan is whether or not we are actively seeking out the life God has called us to, both as a couple and individually. I spend a lot of time talking about what that might look like, how we might better prioritize our time and energy to achieve it, and reevaluating when it seems like we've lost focus.
Did you notice how everything I wrote is centered on the things I could do to achieve our "best" life? Yeah, that's a pretty common theme for me.
I am a planner. I like lists and fine tuning details and schedules. Schedules, man. I loooove schedules. I want to have everything organized and laid out before me where I can easily reference it when needed. I want to write down every question I have, then I want the answer in bold next to it. I want to be prepared and then a little over prepared and then maybe a tiny bit Y2K prepared, just in case.
This side of my personality comes in handy a lot. When you have to organize a luncheon fundraiser for 100 people or take a group of teenagers on a missions trip out of state (both of which are an annual occurrence in my life), order and research and set plans not only come in handy, but are essential (two things people don't appreciate: running out of taco shells and you losing their kid. So buy extras of everything and tie a rope around everyone's waist kindergarten style if you have to). In and of itself, having a game plan is not a bad thing.
But having a game plan isn't just a little quirk for me. It's my default mode. I ask "What's the game plan?" more than necessary for someone who doesn't have a career in athletics. Just hearing the words "game plan" is like a salve for my anxiety ridden nerves. I want to know--the details, the information, the good, the bad, all of it. I want to know. And there is just so much in this life that is unknowable. Sometimes in the moment, sometimes indefinitely. And I take that as a personal affront. It is unacceptable.
BUT! I'm a planner, right? My lists could be in museums (very small, specific museums, but still). If there isn't a game plan, I can make one. Or if I don't like how the current plan is laid out then I can just Google myself another. I can make this square peg fit in that round hole and everything will be fine and right in my world again, because GAME PLAN = WINNING.
I just know, okay?
I know that no matter how many schedules and details and research and games plans I make, there will still be things I cannot know. There will always be things I cannot control or conjure into existence, no matter how well I lay everything out. I know this for certain and yet that doesn't stop me from trying; from struggling to line everything up just so, insistent that if God could just see this very detailed story board I've created, He would lightening bolt my life into order lickety split.
I also know for certain (I really, really like knowing absolute things) that the struggle against the unknown is exhausting. I'm exhausted. The same need to plan out every detail easily morphs into a paralyzing fear when things don't go as expected. It's not healthy. It's not life giving. I can't expect to create a place of peace and calm and vitality for the people around me when I refuse to let God first pour that into me. I could live life this way, becoming a slave to the manic fear that comes when I insist on being the one who has all the answers to every possible scenario. Or I could choose for once to be still and Know.
The really important Knowing. The Knowing that is Refuge and Strength and an always present Help, though the earth is removed and mountains cast into the sea. The Knowing that calms the storm, both of the earth and the ones that pound at my heart. I could let that Knowing restore and renew my mind and heart. That Knowing that sees the things I cannot see and calls me out to the deep, messy, daunting, beautiful unknown.
That Knowing is where I'm shifting my focus.