On revolving

I have been in Syracuse for one tube of toothpaste. Ten weeks out of forty-eight. Twenty percent of my time is gone.

Here we all are, staring down The Holiday Season when we’re so busy nothing gets done, and I have to wonder what I’ve done so far. It only took a few weeks at a job with highly nebulous and unmeasurable goals for me to realize that I’m an extremely achievement-driven person. And now I can’t point at anything and say, “there is the fruit of ten weeks’ labor”. I have learned to handle some paperwork; I have built a nice network of friends for myself. I have planned and executed just a few massive failures of events. And I don’t feel bad about any of this at all; but suddenly I, who have always been prone to overthink and under-do, have turned impatient.

I don’t want to go through committees and work around other people’s schedules and think through what “church” means and try to help others imagine it. I just want to get things done, make things happen, and I don’t particularly care if they’re the right things at all. I need to see results.

And in the “life” half of “work-life balance” – all these I-always-forget-how-new relationships – I want to see some kind of progress towards something, something I can’t even describe because I don’t know what it is or looks like. And I write, but I have too many thoughts that don’t even make sense or fit together; I need them to resolve so I can set them down but they’re not ready yet. People keep up with me through my writing, I think, but really, that is self-important and the time will come, the descriptions will come, for these events and musings and mysterious feelings. Sometimes these things have to mature on their own, through sleeps and prayers. But I am antsy. I am wary of process.

There is a season for every activity under heaven, and there is a season before that, for getting caught between activity and thought, action and preparation, gathering momentum and the roller-coaster plunge. It would be a mistake to wish away the stillness before the dance, and it would be a mistake to rush into things, leaving others in the dust and myself overburdened, flailing alone.

So I send my restless spirit for a walk on its own, into windy grey November’s austere space for the process of slow change. We are getting there, I hear, and I know deep inside that this will be a revolution like the earth, turn, turn, turn.

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