“We can feel within us a healthy tension between sorrow for our sins and the dignity that the Lord has bestowed on us.”
Given the long summer days stuck at home, my wife was desperate for a little revamp of our back deck. I effectively dissuaded her from new, expensive patio furniture in favor of some elegant (cheaper) café lights hung overhead to provide the ambiance of a European boulevard. About 2 hours and 5 broken bulbs into trying to hang the lights in 95 degree heat, the only European feel was the Italian expletives I was shouting to try and shield my children from the trauma of my foul language. I’m pretty sure they could translate. Despite the fact that the light box boasted connecting up to 5 strands at once, they separated the moment there was any tension and went smashing into my deck. Even rolls of duck tape only held them together for a little while. After several failed attempts, in a near bout of heat exhaustion, I realized the strands had to have slack at the connection points to absorb the necessary tension.
As I stared up at my work of art that night, it made me wonder, first, what was I thinking hanging lights in near 100 degree heat, and second, with those I love and lead, how much space do I give for healthy tension? Does the pace at which I run or the space I create when I lead allow others to pull without pulling apart? Do I plan for some give and take or is the strain unsustainable? How about in my prayer life? Can I sit in the tension of asking for the Lord for understanding without answers? It’s not quite Europe, but it was illuminating. Prayers for the tension you may dwell in this week!