How God Wired Me
The image at the left by artist James Christenson is what I wish I were like. That centered, non-anxious presence in the frenetic cacophony that is life. But I know better. I know that I am not that man.
I want to blame God for this and say that God just didn't wire me that way. That is true, but may miss the point.
God did wire me with a lot of energy, too much energy to sit still for too long. But God also created within me the potential to be quite centered nonetheless. And I have, at times, discovered this within me. In the midst of a frenzied emergency room fighting to save a life. Gathered withthe family at the bedside of a dying loved one. With a couple caught in a downward spiral toward divorce. With a teen facing some untenable choices about where life goes next.
In these times and places I have tapped in to my God-given ability to be a non-anxious presence in anxious times. This lies dormant within every energetic extrovert, just as every retiring introvert has the ability to stand in front of a group of people and speak.
The reality of my life is probably much more like this other Christenson painting, the one on the right. He calls it "balancing act" and the central figure has more than seems possible in the air, balanced precariously. This is the truth and not an especially painful one, but one that is helpful to recognize.
The problem with this is not so much a problem for me, in that I like to have a lot of things in progress. I prefer juggling to idleness. It is more a problem of the image that I project to others. I realize that I seem quite busy. Too busy in fact. People respond to me as if I am someone with too much on his plate to take the time to speak, and more importantly I seem too busy to listen. And yet, I dearly love to set aside other projects to talk with folks about what God is doing in their lives and to help discern God's will in times both good and bad.
A solution (for now)
I am quite capable of setting aside other tasks to do this. What I am not capable of is sitting and staring at the wall waiting for someone to need me. I think I will just always be busy, needing to set one thing aside for another. Sitting still is just not the only way I stay centered. I stay centered through prayer, Bible reading and study, singing songs (I love to walk around the church singing songs from our worship, I just rarely do so with others around but find time for that when the sanctuary is not otherwise occupied). I think channeling my God-given energy (without forgetting God's desire for me to stay centered on him in the midst of busy-ness) is the way forward that doesn't make me a victim of my own wiring.
So some Sundays I have been bustling about taking care of details as we head toward a worship service, but having been at the church early, praying and singing and just being in God's presence, I find it possible to be quite centered on the ground of our being even while seeming to be nothing more than an object in motion.
I share this to say that I am busy. But not too busy to be present, really fully, undistractedly present in times of need big and small. And I would hate to think the congregation I am priviledged to serve would see me as too busy for that.
In the archives is the sermon Dragged Apart by Distractions.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor