Necessary Tension

Tension gets a bad rap, especially around the holidays. We joke about having to be with family members we don’t like, but there is a different kind of tension that I am appreciating more and more.

The tension I am talking about is the kind where I know how good I have it while simultaneously feeling guilty for having it good. Some people think I should be on one side or the other, but I straddle the fence like the pro that I am.

Sure, my husband and I work hard and save as much as we can. We should enjoy life and enjoy what God has given to us. God made the earth good and put us here to appreciate it.

On the other hand there are so many people who either work hard or wish they could work hard. There are struggling families all over the world who just want to be able to have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.

The thing I am learning about this ever present tension is that it keeps me aware. It keeps me in a constant state of knowing how good I have it and wanting to help people. God wants me to enjoy life while helping others. I can have it both ways as long as I stay humble and stay on this fence.

If I go to one side or the other, I am missing out on something God has in store for me. I never want to miss Him blessing me or giving me an opportunity to bless others. Let’s say I hop down and only think about myself and my family. I begin to live for the moment and assume everything is here for me. My false sense of power and ego would take over and I would lose all sensitivity. I would become a big jerk.

If I jumped to the other side and gave everything I had away, people might like me and come to me at first. Then I would quickly have nothing left to give. I would become bitter and angry with God for letting me do this. I would become a big jerk.

So, if you are on this fence with me, know that it is a good place to live. It has internet and basic cable. There is a sensible wardrobe and enough furniture to be comfortable. Β There are some extras to bring us joy, but we can also give to others and serve them. It is a great middle ground. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing but can be both.

Tension can be beautiful.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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12 thoughts on “Necessary Tension

  1. a truly interesting perspective about the gift of being aware that tension offers us. thanks for this insight, Sarah … ’cause tension is not something easily embraced!

    advent blessings to you today …

  2. You hit the nail on the head! I’ve thought I was weak or hypocritical because I do like and enjoy my “treasures”, but my heart breaks for those struggling to survive. “Necessary tension” helps me understand why supporting Fair Trade Friday, and other musicians gives me such pleasure. Thanks for being sensitive to the Spirit’s teaching. Blessings from your neighbor at Holley’s.

  3. Hi Sarah,
    It’s interesting isn’t it, how many circumstances of our lives are lived within the tension you write about? Sometimes I don’t know what the answer is or the “right” way to position my thoughts or actions, but I think this is what is so inherent in this walk of faith. Finding the balance and giving what we can, being grateful and doing all the helping we can too! xo

  4. Ah, yes. I feel like this–especially during the holidays. We’ll have an empty nest this holiday, so I’ll be able to focus more on making the time special for others (without taking any time from my family).

  5. Sarah, I love that “fence sitting” perspective. The only kind of “fence sitting” I agree with because it can only lead to a thankful, grateful heart. Well put πŸ™‚
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

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