Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spend it all

Beve's having a little pre-bedtime nap on the couch across the room while we watch an NBA basketball game. Beve's been known to sleep through every sport known to man, through movies so intense I could hardly blink my eyes, let alone close them and drift off to slumber.  I mean, he slept through "The Passion of the Christ!"  When I was purposely not allowing myself to look away from the screen--through the relentless beatings, especially--Beve was sitting beside me, his legs twitching, because it was, after all, a darkened room and he was sitting in a semi-comfortable chair (though his definition of comfort and mine are light years apart!), and sleep comes naturally enough in that exact environment.

I envy that about my husband.  Have I mentioned that before?  I envy the ease with which he sleeps and the ease with which he awakens and the ease with which he walks through much of his day. But the truth is, Beve carries a heavy load every single day of his life.  And if he crashes at the end of it, and every chance he gets, it's because he's worked for it. Where he's spent his waking hours--the counseling center at Squalicum High School --is like the deep end of the pool.  A whole lot of traffic comes through that door.  It's a diverse and needy population Beve spends his days with and he walks among them well.  We laugh at times because all the administrators at his high school are short, like about my height, even the two male principals, so Beve stands out like a street light when he's with them.  And they look up to him not merely physically but for all kinds of support.  I love that about the Beve.  I love that his couch is where people come when they simply need to vent--teachers, staff and administrators as well as students and their parents.  I love that he takes so much time with people that he's their safe place.

OK, so I watched Oprah's last show today, and she was talking about people finding the thing they feel called to do, that which they are passionate about.  Pretty much the same kind of thing I write about all the time. Beve is one of those who most exemplifies this in my life.  He knows well what he's meant to do.  It's for this he was made.  I think the most satisfied people I know are those who feel this way about their lives.  Whether it's a calling to engineering, nursing, business or the theatre, if we are about what we were made--in His image, from the first moments that that sperm met the egg, made--to do, there is a deep well of satisfaction in the doing.  I feel it.  I feel it when I write.  I know that writing, whether there is a paycheck or not, is my God-ordained calling.

That whole paycheck thing often gets in the way of people discovering what God made them to be.  The need to work and pay the bills and have insurance and...keeps people so firmly on the job treadmill that there's no time to think about passion and calling.  And I get that.  I also get that I'm lucky to have the freedom to think about such things without the responsibilities of such bone-tiring passion-zapping work.  But what I'm saying, no, what I hope is that there are moments when something rises up inside that helps you know, "For this I was made."  That's what Oprah was saying today.  But she didn't originate the idea.  That came from God.  If you were made in His image, He made you with a purpose, and that wasn't merely to have a job and get through the week.  Maybe it was about being a parent, or a friend, or a person who creates--via cloth, yarn, paint, or whatever.  Or it's organizing  (if so, could you please help the Beve?).  When I think about how many parts of the body there are, so many we can't even see or understand, I KNOW this is also true for the body of Christ as well.  Nothing is wasted, friends.  Nothing. Whatever lights you up is undoubtedly from the light of the world.  Isn't it?

So embrace it. No, don't just embrace it, but spend it. Spend it all.  That's what I see in Beve. Every day he gets up, laces up his shoes to go off and spend it all.  He keeps nothing in reserve.  And what he discovers is that God replaces what he's spent.  It's like the manna in the wilderness.  If he tried to hold back, it'd just mold.  God gives him everything as he spends everything.  That's passionate living.  Living and working as he believes he's been called.

Yeah, spend it. Spend it all!


Elle said...

I'd love to paint all day long but it's physically so exhausting (believe it or not) and it keeps me too asocial. I think I'll just be happy with random rainy day painting. :)

jeskmom said...

Maybe for now. Who knows what all this running will do to strengthen you. Maybe someday you'll need a season of contemplative painting--not all day, but for more hours than you can currently imagine--and you'll be ready for it.