Self control vs. What you want

Does any one else have ambivalence about accepting good things? Have you ever seen something beautiful, but been reluctant to trust it? Even after a healthy and mature measure of discernment and waiting to watch what will be made clearer, do you ever feel like you are waiting just so you don’t have to confront what the rest of a choice would mean? Beyond that, when you know logically that life will work out and there is literally no boogieman clown waiting to jump out at you once you turn off the lights, and are a little more secure on your feet, does that feeling of doubting what you are sure to be good leave?

If you are like me, then it doesnt. It makes itself comfortable, and you have to get used to “just doing it anyway”. I’m not sure how willing yourself to get through uncertainty is formed, but from what I know, it comes in turmoil. “I am supposed to do this, so I’m doing this now”. No matter how you feel. No matter if it takes you tomorrow or thousands more days. Making yourself just follow through can be helpful, like when you have to deal with long plane rides. Make it work.

But it can also be unhelpful. In a season where your wants are just as valid as your needs, it is almost as if none of those wants really seem scary enough not to disregard. “Oh really? I’m not sure what to think of you, Random Heartfelt Desire. I think I’m just going to self control myself all the way around you and act like you aren’t here.” Self control isn’t always helpful if you have to qualify good things that bear their own qualifications. And when you are suffering, self control isn’t a fancy skill set, it is a baseline necessity to keep going. Yet, nothing is quite that dramatic once it’s the season for mostly things you want. And on the day you get there, you just feel weird cuz it’s like, “I’ve always had to work harder than this.”

But friend, what if the rest of life is more simple and happy and easy than rock bottom? And you can consider what you want just like you satisfy what you need? What if you don’t need to see everything with such scarcity? What do you do then?

Ironically, it goes back to self control. You just do it, and also pursue the things you want. I’ll let you know as I get there; I feel like I’ve been stepping into the things I want very steadily lately. It is still disorienting. What is this magic new world of asking for things? I think it’s more important and useful to know self control than doing what you care about, but the fact of the matter is that we often don’t have to choose at all, we just don’t expect to be given the option. Who knew.

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I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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