A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine shared a thought that I had to chew on for a couple days:
An artist has to wade through the tension in life, but really, the tension is the gift.
The tension is the gift.
Do I ever look at it like that? I don’t know about you, but I spend my days striving to rid my life of tension. Solving problems, knocking things off my to-do list, trying to free up as much time for myself as possible. Toil free, work free, problem free, tension free.
And yet, tension always seems to show up. In relationships, in my schedule, in my work. It is always there. Like the pimple that just won’t die!
At least, that’s how I’ve been seeing it through the glasses I’ve had on for most of my life. But through a new lens, tension begins to look a little different.
For the past few weeks, I have been going through the interview process for a job I would really enjoy. I am optimistic as I wait, but just over my shoulder is the fear that I may not get it. It seems like the perfect fit for my current employment needs and my experience, but a lot of things in the past few months have looked so positive and then fallen through. So that niggling voice in the back of my voice keeps saying ‘If you don’t get this, you’re not going to find anything else. This is the only job that will fulfill your needs and desires. Don’t get this, and you’re stuck, kid.’
There’s the tension: hope and fear, truth and lies, success and failure.
So I’m in this holding pattern. Waiting. Interviewing. Hearing from references called. Everything looks really good, but there is still that chance it may not work out.
This is the tension I wade through. I’ve become super jumpy, waiting for my phone to ring with a number I don’t recognize…which has happened and it has not been the employer. Lots of near-cardiac arrests without much reason.
But this is the gift.
In these two weeks, I have got to put to practice what a friend calls giving up ‘material for sacrifice.’ I have been given a good desire–to do good work that encompasses my gifts. And I have no control of that desire being satisfied. I can get really drawn up in fret and desperation if I let myself. But it’s not supposed to be that. That’s not what tension is for.
Tension is the gift. It’s the offering.
When I trust in God, offering my desires up to him, that is when I experience the freedom and peace he offers. I am able to look towards either outcome of this process with courage. I am learning to trust my father and his good gifts.
This tension of being so close, but not close enough to know is my playground right now. It is a season that is hard, but full of rich discoveries.
Tension is the gift.
Dwell on that. I hope you find it true.