I prefer for life to run it’s course at a fever pitch pace, mixed in with rest and relaxation. And I’m slowly realizing my wishes won’t always come true. My life is currently run at the pace of a dull roar, like the unending sound of crashing ocean waves. Not quite crazy enough to break me down, but not quite slow enough to ever relax.
I’ve been a dad for a little over 5 months now. I say that for those of you who have parented much longer can recognize that only 5 months into this new stage of life, I know next to nothing about being a good parent. Of course you might say the same thing even after being a parent for 40 years.
Parenting forces you to learn how to live with open hands. This idea of open hands has become a theme in my life recently. You can’t be a good parent if you live with clenched fists. You’ll hoard your own time instead of giving it. I haven’t taken kindly to this life lesson.
More than entering marriage, parenthood thrusts you into a space where you must learn to continually give selflessly. In a marriage you can still operate with a selfish mentality. Believe me, I’ve done it far too often. But you aren’t really a parent if you operate with a selfish mentality. You’re a babysitter looking at the clock for someone else to take over.
And all this giving away of myself, my space, my time—I’m frustrated. I haven’t written anything in weeks, even though I’ve previously written everyday. When my equilibrium in life is off kilter I know God is trying to scream through the dull roar of life I’ve become accustom to.
Maybe it’s because the little guy is an awful sleeper. Maybe it’s because Rose and I have spent exactly 3 hours away from him on two separate dates. Maybe it’s because between dad duty and work I don’t have any days of the week to relax. Of course, maybe I’m just a selfish jerk who prefers to rely on excuses.
At this point I should google my issues and see if any blogs have the remedy, but I already know they don’t. Formulas don’t solve real problems, they create them. And in my weaker moments I rely on the formulas and even produce them myself. Formulas push away the human element of life and view people as robots able to change on a whim. They teach the lie that change is easy.
If it’s easy it probably means God wants more from you.
I believe one of the biggest barriers to personal change is a recognition of death. One of the most overlooked pieces of this is that often the thing that needs to die is YOU. I think God made this one of the hardest seasons of my life because if it was easy I wouldn’t be sacrificing anything of me. The process of dying to self is slow, and painful, and tenuous because death is difficult.
So I’m coming around and trying to embrace this dull roar pace of life where I sense I’m quickly coming to the end of myself through tears and scratching and clawing. Through this I’ll reflect more of Christ and less of Tyler. And the world will be a place with more light, love, and salvation because of it.
Starting later this week I’ll be turning this space over to a summer blog series focused on Jesus’ calling for us, as disciples, to make disciples. I’m grateful for the chance to learn from other wonderful writers, as well as re-charge my own writing batteries. Thanks for your support of my writing ministry and for supporting these other writers.