31 Years: This Strange Tension

Thirty-one years of life and I’m left amazed at the sheer richness of it—life, death, joy, anger, sadness, excitement, love, fear, faith, hope, anticipation, longing, peace—all of these and more bound up in these few years we all have together.

The afflictions are light and momentary, even though they may be heavy and lifelong. The joys are immense and eternal, even though they may be small and short-lived. This strange tension is one that I’ve not yet come to fully embrace, but one I’m learning to appreciate more and more each day. And I’m finding I appreciate it now more this year than last year.

Without that tension, my personality would have me viewing every affliction as heavy and lifelong and every joy as small and short-lived. I’d veer off into the ditch of despair, gazing across the path and longing to lie in the other ditch of naivety.

But this tension brings adequate pressure on both sides. Balance. I can experience the joys of life to the fullest and I can endure the most searing pain firm to the end. And the mixture of these joys and pains, combined with the ability to experience the fullness of them all without letting them shove me off the Foundation He has placed me on, creates a vibrant mosaic of truth, beauty, and goodness that I can feast upon all my days, and then forevermore.

I’m still learning how to live within this tension, I’m still drinking in the richness of this life, and I’m constantly having to dig my heels in harder and harder into this middle ground to keep from being blown away, but there is a Grace that is mercifully keeping me, and, I trust, will continue to hold me fast.

Thank you, Lord.