Friday, December 16, 2011

Determined steps

"No," Ezra said and tucked his arm close to his chest, away from my open hand.  My twenty-month-old's adamant denial of help reminded me that he was no longer a baby.  So, I sighed, cautiously watched him grasp the railing, and willed each foot to find a sure step along the stairway.  I stayed in front of him in case he needed my arms, but made sure to give him the space he demanded.

When the sole of his foot clapped the cool laminate, Ezra's eyes met mine and an accomplished smile spread wide until a little giggle emerged.  Then, he bounded off ready to face another challenge - his bubbly gait quickly finding its way from my line of vision.

In my own life determination waxes and wanes.  Sometimes, I feel so focused and able to accomplish anything.  Other times, my footing slips and I wonder if my challenges or even simple duties will overwhelm me.

Friend, does that describe your life?  Do you doubt one moment only to feel buoyed by ambitious possibility the next? 

I wonder, is balance really an evenness of emotion or rather is it experiencing an even amount of extreme emotions?  That is, we savor joy, because we know wretchedness; crave peace, because we agonize over agitation; hunger hope due to doubt and distrust; and long for love when rancor bristles so readily in a fallen world.

Instead of lamenting my inability to keep a steady spread of emotion, perhaps I should rejoice that I can know true emotion.  Apathy exudes from too many faces I see in this world.  So, let's thank God for the wealth of feeling and run unabashedly about, ready to spread joy, peace, hope, and love at every turn.


  1. I think that you're absolutely right -- with the list of opposites that you provide. Perhaps the experience of relatively even-keeled, non-extreme emotions is what breeds apathy in many people. Taking it to a more basic level, we know good because we know evil and we are able to know God because we see pain and a world cloaked in hatred and sin. If we never experience these extremes, how could we possibly define any philosophical or theological idea of consequence?

    Knowing extremes is also helpful because it allows us to begin to put the little annoyances of life into their proper perspective.

    You're right to be thankful for true emotion! I wish everyone could experience less pain and sadness, but we couldn't possibly experience any joy if we never did.

  2. Better to have a heart overfilled than one empty! And you have a great heart, my friend.


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