Progress. In the fitness world you’re taught about progress as it relates to an exercise. How can you, as the instructor or trainer safely guide an individual through a particular exercise and then once he or she has mastered said exercise be able to graduate them to the next phase? Usually it’s if the individual can safely demonstrate mastery of form within the confines of an exercise you then progress them to a more challenging aspect of the same exercise. Adding in things like speed, depth, range of motion, varying cadence, more resistance, etc. But, taken out of the fitness realm, how can progress in your life be adequately and appropriately measured? How do you know when you’re ready to tackle the next phase? How do you know if and when it’s time to take on the next challenge? How does one know if you’re ready?
I think progress can and will appear different dependent upon the individual. For some, progression may reaching for the more nutrient dense food option available. For another, maybe it’s going on a walk or parking farther away from the entrance to a building to get more movement throughout their day when previously, they always chose the path of least resistance. Better yet, maybe it is finding the quiet stillness and willingly taking a moment to embrace the calm when their day is more prone to noise and chaos.
We are in a society in which every aspect of our lives can be quantified. How many views did it get? How many likes were toggled? How many clicks generated a purchase? I mean entire jobs are dedicated to statistical analysis–we are creatures who want to fully understand the progress or lack thereof. But when does the desire to know begin to adversely effect the person and how he or she operates on a daily basis?
Honest answer? I have no earthly idea. I am an individual who wants to know and fully understand the process. I am an “endgame” type of gal. I have never been the person who has sat back and pushed for the “enjoy the journey” mantra. Nope. Hard pass. Give me all of the details on where we are going and the method we shall use to get there–even if it’s the “Cliff’s Notes” version. I want to know. The knowing provides me with comfort and a sense of stability.
I find myself in a season where it feels like I am being forced into the unknown. I don’t have the next phase all figured out. I do not have a detail map of directions and/or steps to take to get me to the next chapter/destination/idea/job/goal/etc. and for someone who is very much all that encompasses the Enneagram Three traits, this season feels very well, ‘yucky.’ I want to know what next steps to take and I literally have no map providing me with clear direction. Then inner critic begins to chime in with her two cents on the matter in primarily two distinct courses of dialog: loudly expressing to me to ‘hush up’ and ‘stop whining’ because there are far bigger problems and/or issues in the world than my inability to adapt to the unknown OR that precious time is being wasted that could be filled via accomplishing tasks/projects/’to do’ list items/etc. The inner battle between waiting on His perfect timing and growing impatient and just wanting to pester “are we there yet? have we waited long enough?” feels nonstop at present. (ps: being a military spouse, one would think I’d have a better grasp on this type of season or at least better pivoting abilities, seeing as how a military life is full of the unknown–ha! Jokes on me, for while improvements have been made, we are most definitely still a work in progress.)
The very Sunday school answer to all of this is “turn to Jesus.” Yes, 100%. There have been and continue to be conversations with Jesus on this very subject, but there are times in which I feel He is quiet. That doesn’t mean He hasn’t heard me or is angry with me, but simply that I am in a season of wait and see. He is good and wants good for me. That fact doesn’t change simply because His answer may be ‘no’ or ‘not yet.’ I know I am not alone in these feelings and there are many out there who are also experiencing a new season of life in which there isn’t a clearly defined path. So, to those of you in the wait, I offer up solidarity. To those of you who have been through a season of wait, I ask you to pray for those of us in the trenches and seek out your wisdom. How did you navigate the unknown? Where were you able to find guidance amongst perceived silence? Help those of us deep in the suck of the wait.
Until next time…