Putting Down Roots


more love, less duty
June 2, 2011, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking about the difference between doing things out of love instead of out of duty. This past year, after 4 years of bouncing between camp and school, where there were always an impossible number of responsibilities for me to fulfill, it was utterly bewildering to not have someone constantly telling me what I should be doing. It was wonderful to have the time and space to do what I really wanted, what I really loved, what I really felt called to do. But, the problem was, I didn’t ending up filling my time doing what I really wanted, what I really loved, or what I really felt called to do. While I did do a fair amount of those things, I was constantly haunted by some bigger sense of duty. And what was lurking under that sense of duty was a frustratingly familiar fear: that if I’m not good enough or productive enough, I’ll just get thrown out of life. A couple weeks ago, a woman was telling me about a year when she was married but unemployed and didn’t yet have children: she woke up every morning excited about all of the possibility. Me, I spent a whole lot of the past year waking up anxious. I was anxious about all the empty space, and anxious about all of the choices I had to make, and anxious that I wouldn’t end up being “good enough” now that so much was up to me. When we feel like we have to earn love and earn our place in the world, we get scared, because it’s easy to think of all the reasons that we’re not good enough. But when we understand that we’re already loved unconditionally and accepted and given a place at the table, the fear goes away. Instead of trying to earn love, we just get to spread all the love around. As I’ve been at camp this week, helping get ready for the summer, I’ve been working on doing projects with a spirit of love. Instead of feeling like I’m obligated to do things (I’m not), and instead of trying to do things so that people will think “wow, that Lindsay is so great and helpful,” I’m trying to do things simply to express the love I have for God and this place and all of these people. I’ve spent a while this past week working on a Bible study curriculum for the high school campers. Having a crappy selection of curricula during the 3 years I worked with the high schoolers has motivated me, and when I’m writing it this week–it’s a slow and humbling sort of thing–I just keep thinking of Lydia and the new counselors who will be using it this summer. Instead of worrying about how I’ll be judged for how good it is, and trying to predict the number of Brownie points this will earn me, I get to focus on lmaking a practical expression of love towards Lydia, the new counselors, and the campers who’ll learn from it. It changes the whole act.

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