Originally published Thursday, 10 April 2014.
Anxiety runs deep like a river in many jobs around the world.
Here, in our world, we call it being squirrely.
A multitude of emails flood our inbox—trying to land on a decision that could have been agreed upon in a 30-second conversation. We create paper trails, making sure our hind quarters are saved if we're confronted about how big of a dent we've made on our task list.
We're all just a little insecure. We're zipping about our days, swirling around in the inbox-vortex. Never satisfied with a day well-lived. Never relishing that we're doing good work.
Always pursuing an even greater vision, or an even bigger calling. Always dissatisfied. Always…well, squirrely.
Lately, that's what's been pushing my motives for moving forward in my life. It's the pulse that my heart and brain agree on at least twenty-thousand times a day. It's the questions that run through my mind each day that determine my very worth:
Am I doing enough?
Am I being enough?
Am I attaining enough?
I can't simply rest in the goodness that's unfolding in the here and now.
I have to be moving forward or else I feel like a failure. If I'm not getting ready to launch onto the next lily-pad-life-stage, then I must be stuck. God's favor must not be upon me.
I forget how long and hard I prayed for a job in the journalism field. A job that would release me from serving tables and let me put my master's to use.
Instead, I blindly fall into the smothering quicksand of comparison. Seeping, drowning slowly. Wishing for more responsibility. More clout. More (dare I say it?) fame.
I forget how much, even in the midst of dating the wrong men, I hoped for the right one. I forget how I prayed for someone who would cherish me, let me be myself, pray for me and walk with me through my caffeine addiction.
It's been almost a year since I started dating the man I prayed for. But, I get absorbed into thoughts about future. Instead of being patient and learning how to love better, I want to push for the next big thing.
I haven't been careful. I haven't been prudent. I've let myself skate along the edges of the ungratefulness rink.
And if I let myself continue, I will never be satisfied where I am. I will always be fighting for the next stage. Even while I'm living in the midst of so many answered prayers.
By allowing myself to be squirrely, I am taking advantage of God's utter goodness: I'm taking advantage of the miracles I've waited for.
I am the Israelite clan. Wandering. Rejecting the manna that falls from the sky and into my open, expectant palms. Wishing for the days that I was a captive in Egypt again—because those days seemed so much better, didn't they?
When will it stop?
Today marks the start of me resting from my squirrely-ness. To slow down enough in this season to recognize the good unfolding there. To put an end to the cycle and to adore this season.
This one. This one. This very season is worth all the celebration.