So much of life is about learning to manage the tension; managing the tension between who I am and who God wants me to be.
What if the tension is good?Why is it so difficult to rest in His timing, direction, and understanding? #TheTensionIsGood Click To Tweet
We can be incredibly insistent, focused on our plans and timing; manipulating circumstances and people for our own purposes. There is a vision in our head of who we are and who we want to be. What if God’s plans look nothing like our own? Treating tension as something to be avoided, we are prone to march prematurely toward solutions and endings of our own making. In doing so, we end up sacrificing God’s best for the cheap and easily attainable. We sacrifice His knowledge of what’s best for our “perfect Plan A”.
The Tension is Good
Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that the presence of tension isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I know that when the tension exists I need to pay attention. It’s usually an indicator to me that:
- God is on the move, and perhaps I was moving or acting in a way that was contrary to His will.
- A refining or education is occurring, and I need to allow the time and space for the lesson or experience.
- There might be a sin or character issue I need to address.
- The tension is not particular to me, except that I have the opportunity to be a part of or witness to what God is doing in someone else.
In January 2016, author and speaker Brad Lomencik shared Ten Points on Managing Tension in Leadership. I believe that many of these points ring true for a variety of roles, including those within the home, and have shared a few of my favorite below:
- Tension is a powerful platform to clarify what is important. Out of tension many times comes change. Change for good.
- There is a constant tension between who I am and who God wants me to be. The tension of growth and maturity is always present.
- Resisting average creates tension. Striving for excellence creates tension.
- We constantly live with a tension of determining in life how much we give away. Whether it is time, money, talents, resources, or focus, leaders must understand and embrace this tension of generosity.
- Typically, where there is no tension, there is no real growth. Tension builds courage, character, wisdom and makes us authentic and real. It stretches and motivates us.
(Check out more on Brad Lomencik.)
The process of becoming can be uncomfortable and messy. It involves a stretching and bending of our own will in submission to God’s.
What if we stopped insisting on our own will?
Can you envision a life style where you are not constantly pushing forward towards that “next thing” you’ve identified? What would happen if instead of avoiding, working around, or pushing through the tension, we actually embraced it?
How might the momentum and direction of your life change if you decided to live with the tension?
What might happen if you began to view the tension as good?