Framing a Life

I’m not a planner.  At least I don’t think I am.  One of the things I cherish about my days now is that I don’t have to get up and leave my house each morning.  I do get up early, write first, do some “work” that includes emails, writing, learning kind of things like reading & figuring out, and planning for class or meetings.  I have flexibility in how I structure my time for the majority of time.

For a prolific thinking and feeling recluse, this kind of freedom can be a little messy but I like messy structure. They can coexist.  I am learning that I don’t have a “plan”– that kind of structure– but I do have a framework. What is the difference?  A lot.

What I have to do everyday isn’t tied to my job or even the running of my household.  It is necessary for the running of my overall self.  Here begins another paradox.

I must read something everyday that elevates me.  This is the part I’m not sure I know how to explain.  What I read; a novel, a memoir, the bible, or a spiritual classic–old or new is not as critical as how I read.  When i say “elevates” I don’t mean that  it makes me more important– actually I forget myself–the part of myself that wants to be in charge, important, and foremost in my mind.  A space is created to remember that there is another realm of reality, another way to expand my view, another One who is intricately woven in.

I probably need an example here, to show you rather than just tell you.  I continually struggle with the question of what do I do and what does God do in my life.  The problem is the dichotomy, the first part anyway.  The second is that it isn’t so simple as either or.

Feeling a bit anxious about what to do on a recent day, I happened– okay probably a prime example of the combination of the two “do’s”– upon Frederick Buechner’s piece on anxiety. Buechner surmises that Paul, writing to the Phillipians to “have no anxiety about anything” does not deny, try to minimize or explain what happens away as God’s will, judgement, or testing our spiritual fiber.

He simply tells the Philippians that in spite of them–even in the thick of them–they are to keep in constant touch with the One who unimaginably transcends the worst things as the One also unimaginably transcends the best.

A framework.  Another way to consider that my spiritual self is my real self. And even to be so bold to know that this One and I are there together.  Now, this doesn’t mean that when I go about my day I don’t get sucked into the world as one of my wise sixth grade friends says; but it does mean I don’t have to stay there.

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