What keeps you up at night? No, really. Be honest. What are your deepest thoughts, which your mind churns through while all else is still?
Blogs and books are a dime a dozen, these days, aren’t they? Sometimes, it seems like many of these published works are meeting the needs of what is ordinary in order to help people feel like they’ve earned passage into certain clubs. Those publications sell because the subjects written in them have been deemed as “safe topics,” approved by the masses for ready discussion.
I’ve been told books on death, dying, grief, and suffering…you know the really tough stuff… are hard to sell, even by well-established authors… because people don’t want to think about such things.
But people do think about such things.
Those are the sorts of things that really keep a person up at night.
The things that keep a person up at night are not just the seen things…you know… the endless “to-do” list or the anxieties over the daily problematic areas.
The things that keep a person up at night are the things that are unseen.
Learning How to Navigate Without a Clearly Marked Roadmap.
So why do we run from the depths of sorting out our troubled hearts and minds straight for the widths of dealing with all we can actually see on our horizons?
Because it’s easier. It’s easier to deal with the now than to dive into help for the needs of our ‘not sures’.
It’s easier to deal with the distractions of the immediate than to address matters of far longer reaching processes.
It is important to deal with the distractions of the immediate, but not at the cost of ignoring the resources needed to invest in peace and healing for the long term.
I get that we ladies need support groups to tell us it’s ok for the messy buns and messy homes. How frequently are we running toward resources for our messy hearts and messy lives, though?
I get that our men need community with those that will help them build connections and build businesses. How often are they turning to communities that help with building confidence in Christ, character that won’t waver, and homes that won’t compromise the call of the gospel, though?
Sometimes the widths of the ‘right nows’ and depths of the ‘don’t knows’ intersect with community. Other times, they’re totally different oceans.
I think a lot of it has to do with the processes involved.
People want to see immediate results, don’t they?
People like tidy. People like it when they can give the compartments of their lives a check mark by the “yeah, you’re right in step with everyone else.” Rarely do people part with comfortable “safe topics” for risky, headfirst diving to actually deal with the hard stuff.
I love what Lysa TerKeurst said at a conference I attended this summer, though, “The process is the point.”
Fruit never grows over night. No. First, a seed must be planted. Then water and the sun’s light must overwhelm it. Then, roots must grow deep, so trees, vines, and bushes may grows steep. Only when the season is proper and the conditions for harvest are right, will fruit appear.
The fruit is not the point: the plant that continues to be healthy enough to bear fruit is.
No person’s “plant” is identical to another; but the life giving and sustaining resources that cause it to grow can be.
So, what’s your process looking like? Are you avoiding the hard stuff so you can blissfully tread water? Or are you diving deep so you can swim to the most extraordinary places?
How’s your “plant” looking? Are you tilting your head toward the Son and drinking in the Living Water? Or are you under the scorching heat that causes plants that are laid wide and many, but not deep, to wither up?
That stuff that keeps you up at night is important. It’s more important than all the forums and artificial communities you may run for help coping with what you see.
That stuff that keeps you up at night is meant to open your eyes to the unseen and to ask the Lord to lead you to communities where you find depth for real swimming, not just treading.
And it might just be what He is calling you to talk to Him about so that with His Light and Everlasting Water, you can stand tall, with deep, deep roots.
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”
I Thessalonians 5:6