This journal entry has always been one of my favorites. The mixed imagery of a robot with angel wings has often symbolized many of the tensions I perceived in my daily life.
The tension of wanting to live unattached and in community.
The tension of wanting to be responsible and run away.
The tension of wanting to fulfill the expectations of others and of my own heart.
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by this tug of war when I let myself live under the bondage and grooming of our society. A society that declares I am only as valuable as my output. A society that declares I should be able to juggle so much–a family, a volunteer position, a full time job, a fit body, a happy husband, a beautiful and creative home, and two-point-five children. Even worse, it is a society that declares I should want to participate in this circus act, that I should recognize that I am somehow less-than if I do not want these things. I am less-than if I can’t manage it all.
So when the ropes have burned my hands enough, and I can’t get my muscles to pull any more, I ask for wings. I ask for permission to fly away, leave it all behind. I escape into made up worlds through TV, movies, and books. I try to make it sound religious by saying I want to fly to the heavens to be closer to God.
But there is no oxygen in heaven.
So I come back to earth and try again, to manage it all, to live in this tension. To pick up and carry all these things which I feel I am expected to have, these things that will make me enough.
Jesus, however, promises a different type of tension. The tension of a yoke, a bond, a student and their master. He beckons us to Himself with the promise of gentleness, humbleness, and rest for our souls. He declares that His yoke is easy, and the burden He carries is light.
So this is the place I find myself in now. Yoked to a teacher, trying to learn His ways. Still in tension, the tension of trial and error–of feeling the gentle pull back to Him when my feet are heading the wrong direction. A tension immersed in grace, that keeps me grounded and yet fills the desires of my heart.
A tension that requires no escape, because I have chosen this. I have found my master, and no matter what I am doing — working, volunteering, investing in my family, taking care of my body, loving my husband, or feathering my nest — He shields me from burdens that are too heavy. He fulfills His promise of making my life light.