The Never-Ending Fight For What Matters

One of the biggest challenges I find myself fighting each week is the temptation to fill my life with stuff that doesn’t matter. Why does this happen over and over again to me? Just about the time I think I’ve eliminated the mind-clutter, it creeps in like black mold. You can kill it, but it’ll always be back. 


Instead of reading life-altering books, I’m “researching” on the internet about whether braided or rubber instrument cables are better when patching multiple analog mixers together (note to reader: I don’t own or ever plan on owning even one analog mixer). Instead of talking to friends, practicing piano, and connecting with other musicians, I’m convinced if I don’t polish my kitchen countertop RIGHT NOW, someone is going to die a painful death.


In my head, there’s always two raging factions that won’t be happy until the other one packs up and moves away. 


Maybe it’s the unusually bleak Missouri winter that’s stretched from one side of November to the tip of March. It’s felt like the continental United States has been a giant snow cone for time in memoriam, and it’s finally starting to get to me. And I end up using busy-ness to keep the nagging doubts, fears, and insecurities quiet. Some people drink liquor. I get on Facebook. 


I am proud of what I’m accomplishing with the bulk of my time. A few highlights this week have included releasing a new Mainstage Preset Pack, working with Keith Urban’s guitarist on a comedy country song, producing the music for a short film, cutting keyboard tracks for a friend’s album, and all the usual time fillers like worship at Trinity Church, piano teaching, and a couple of piano shows over the weekend. 


The part I struggle with are the cracks. That moment when you wake, roll over, and have a decision to read your Bible or Facebook. That moment when you could accomplish something small, and you choose to be lazy instead. 

I struggle with the caulking in my life- the gap between what I want my life to look like, and the gnawing emptiness of what I think it might become. 


And I’m not going to win this one in this life. No matter how hard I try, I’m always going to be a fallen creature, limited not by my circumstances, but by my inability to see beyond myself. And until I’m made perfect, all I can do is try the best I can with what I have. How very unsatisfying. 


Perhaps I’m just overstimulated by simplified pleasures. I can’t feel the rush of the challenge of living the next 60+ years trying to become the person Christ is leading me toward. Someone who’s clarity of purpose in life is so exacting, so vivid, that his actions mold to match in a seamless dance of action and intention. Sanctified. 


In the meantime, I’m going to hope for winter to pass, and wait through the long night.