Tension Can Be Healthy
The older I get, the more I appreciate the joys of living with a heart of gratefulness and remembering and repentance and celebration and restfulness and tension (insert record scratch). Tension, you say? Yes, tension. That rubbing of your temples and squinting of your eyes? Well, maybe, but on a deeper, more contemplative level.
There is a healthy release that comes with the “unresolved” life of tension. That doesn’t flow at all, does it? Release and tension living harmoniously? Sometimes, we have to accept the possibility that we do not have all of the solutions and allow a healthy tension in our lives.
There is a healthy tension in letting my kids figure out some things on their own.
There is a healthy tension in wrestling with what it means for me to be responsible for the poor.
There is a healthy tension, at times, in walking away from unresolved conflict in a relationship.
There can be a healthy tension, for others, if we are not always trying to be the savior of their problems.
I have found that I provide tension with two enemies:
I’ve been in physical therapy for my back for the past month. One exercise my therapists have done each visit is hamstring stretches. They want my leg relaxed to get the stretch, but I always tighten my leg. They chop at my leg and say, “relax.” When I relax, I get a better stretch. Some of these tense opportunities will work out, when we surrender our control. Control is an enemy of tension. Sometimes we need that relaxed stretch to allow God to strengthen something in us.
Typically, we see tension as the enemy, when passivity is the real enemy. Tension provides a struggle rather than comfort and safety. Let tension cause you to wrestle with some things God may want you to work through in your life. There was a time when the less fortunate were not on my radar. I may have been more comfortable, but now I believe it is better to grapple with the things God has called me to than ignore they exist.
We can find release, even in our tensions, when we acknowledge God knows more than we do.
Are there “tensions” God is calling you to?