I hate double binds, don’t you? It seems like every other day a situation comes up where I am caught between choices and somehow, someone is disappointed in the choice I make, even if that someone is me.
Take last week for example: I wanted to get back to writing my book and making real headway towards the submission of my manuscript. The week was open and my head plans were set, that is, until we received a call asking if we could take in a teenage boy in a crisis situation. It was a short interruption, four days in length, but an interruption none the less. I counted it all joy to be of help, but I also counted the moments until I could get back to writing.
The lawn continued to grow during that time, so mowing and weeding were necessary to avoid looking like the Clampetts, so there goes another half a day. In addition,the mouths in the family zoo continued to open for feeding, and the food doesn’t walk in by itself. I want to provide nutritious food on a budget, but fast food isn’t healthy, and food high in nutrients isn’t cheap. As I chopped and stirred at the stove, I saw my dreams of a completed manuscript vaporize like the steam off the vegetables.
Once the dishes were humming away in the dishwasher and the grass stains set soaking in the tub, the family beckoned me to sit down for a movie and spend time with them. Tomorrow my sons will be one day closer to leaving the nest, and one of them is only home for a few days this summer as it is, so I acquiesce to their loving request. On the screen I watch the show, but in my head I see a different screen waiting to be revised and submitted to the ever-waiting publisher.
At the end of the day, my husband asks how close I am to actually making money from the book which is sitting left unfinished. Not one inch closer, and that is the truth. And somehow I suspect tomorrow will be no different.
Someone will need me. Someone will be unhappy if I am not there. Someone will ask if I can help them do something that is not in alignment with my career goals and I will say yes to them, knowing that true ministry does not always come in the form of a manuscript, but is scripted moment by moment in the serving of others. And at the end of the day, when someone asks me how much I earned, I will have to answer “a lot”, knowing that my currency and theirs are not always the same, and hoping they are okay with that.
What kind of double bind are you facing today?