it’s a love-hate thing

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The ‘fight to the finish spirit’ is the one characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.” Henry David Thoreau
This morning, I was thinking that Thoreau had it about right. Not as in the above quote, mind you. As in, I think I’ll get away from humanity and live in a ten by ten shack because even the lack of indoor plumbing has got to be better than dealing with people on a daily basis. Yes, that is the mood I woke up, perused my email and facebook, and drank my tea in.
Has that ever been your mood? OK, I would not be a pastor if I didn’t love people, deep down. But there are times when that love gets so tested, tried, and yes, broken, that I really do want to abstain from human society and all its messiness and yell at everyone, “OK, fend for yourselves now. Jill has left the building!”
I know some of you get that. It’s so much easier to hide than try to fix things, especially since some of those “things” are human beings, and they are historically resistant to “fixing.” Sometimes, it just feels like a cabin would be a better option for the duration.
A cabin not being a real option, a long walk this morning sufficed. If nothing else, it would help get me ready for the 5K mud run this weekend I am woefully unready for.
And Mr. Thoreau. He is right. Quitting isn’t an option. I want to be a finisher. Part of my frustration right now is that so many people are not. They’re in it until it gets messy or difficult or even just slightly annoying. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be a finisher.
Could the reason humanity is such a mess be that so few of us are finishers? So many are ready to walk away in the face of fear or struggle or insult? Is the lack of a “fight to the finish spirit” the reason so many people leave marriages, friendships, churches, and jobs? I don’t remember Jesus saying, “Hey, I did the hard part. The rest of this ‘love God and people’ thing will be nothing but an easy slide into home plate.”
I do remember him saying it would be hard, and we would be attacked, and heaven help us if we stand around eating potato chips and checking our botox in the mirror when we should be gearing up for battle. (That’s a loose paraphrase.)
I want to be a tramper of miles and a shaper of plans. I want to be a finisher. How about you?

3 thoughts on “it’s a love-hate thing

  1. Having been “the pastor's wife” I completely get where you are coming from! I have also known the same angst about what to be when I grow up. I finally “had it out” with God. Point blank I said, “Am I a counselor?” Yes. Not what I wanted to hear. “Am I a teacher?” Yes. Say what? “Am I a writer?” Yes. I give Him The Look. Figured I'm on a roll, go for it: Am I a painter, singer, etc. To every one He said “Yes.” Then He said, “But most of all you are my friend. Sometimes you will relate to people as a counselor, teacher, artist, etc. but always you are my friend.” I could live with that!


  2. Carol, it seems lately that I am a firefighter. Not at all on the list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. But there are so many fires to be put out. Thank you for your perspective!


  3. I guess that is why the Great Shepherd went off to lonely places by himself to pray! So we're in good company!Those long morning walks are as necessary for my soul as they are for my body.
    Great to meet you here Jill.


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