I am sitting in my office, and I hear the heater, and I feel stress: to wrap up this semester, to plan and prepare for the new history class I will be teaching, to keep up with my reading of scriptures, of trying to be a good husband, of trying to be a good dad, of trying. And then, in the midst of this stress and striving, this image comes to me: the crucified Christ. In this image, all striving ceases and I know that God is at work in a way that I cannot comprehend, but that I am called to bear witness to, and I sense that I should stand before this image and allow it to shape who I am, because it is saying that God has me in a profound way, and that genuine life will happen if I live from this place.
I need to get my grade book in order. I wonder if I can look at all the legitimate responsibilities hanging over me, that rage at me like the waves and winds of a storm, and if, like Christ, I can look at them and say, “Peace! Be still” and calm them. The deal is, the biggest struggle in not my circumstances, but my immature character, my lack of discipline, and my raging emotional life. I have this nagging feeling that I am constantly living with the water up to my neck, and consequently, I have a deep desire to distract myself with whatever I can get a hold of. There must be some kind of lie spinning in my head. Cause, I can see how I am undermining myself, and sapping my energy through so much worry and stress. How not like a child I am, and yet how childish.