Balter= v. to dance artlessly, without
particular grace or skill,
but usually with enjoyment.
One of the best parts about watching Ian draw is the complete freedom in which he does it. There are no pauses to correct a line or delay in picking which color to use next. He creates with both fists clutching the slick oil pastels and does not stop until he feels he is finished. He is enthralled by his hands creating swirls and loops. He giggles as black and yellow crash into something muddled. Each time shouting "Ian do this" as he ends the last line, fingers smeared with color. He creates without fear of what the finished product will look like. He always seems happy with the end product because he enjoyed the process so much.
Life feels harder when I fixate on the next step. If the picture is supposed to look a certain way then I better get the lines I am drawing now to look just so, and the color needs to match exactly. It becomes exhausting to try, to erase, and start over. The end product in my mind predicting the entire frustrating process. Something to endure, to get through with as little damage as possible. To try to look like I know what I am doing while keeping hands clean from color.
We feel that we are called to be a part of something God is doing in Basque, Spain. We need to raise support, learn Spanish, ready the house to rent, and countless other things. And it all wears on us, the striving to create a picture of what we think it should look like. A talk with some dear friends this week helped me to stop and turn the lens a bit. To refocus on what is important right now. And it is not the picture I see when the waiting and plodding on feels hard. It is one of right now. Today. Ian napping in our bed because he is convinced lions live in his room. And Jeff trying to teach Levi once again how to stay up on a pair of skates and not hug the carpeted areas. Luke talking to himself with a smile as he circles them on his skates. It is me breathing deep the alone time fingers clicking out words on a keyboard. The dishes in the sink, two phone calls still to make, drywall to patch, and the base boards that still have not been painted. It is all about these things. The scribbles in bright yellow and the loops of black that project into each day. The process.
The best masterpieces are made one brush stroke at a time. And the calls and meetings, playing legos with boys and meals made are as much shaping me as the Rosetta Stone lessons. That Jeff lifting Levi up again and again, skates and arms splayed, is as important as patching the drywall for renters and training future Young Life leaders. And Luke confidently circling round and round when before he only fell is somehow building up in him what we can't see.
Standing on Basque soil will be amazing, when we finally arrive with suitcases and hearts ready. But to discount the now for the next is cheating ourselves. The end product is only known by God. And the scribbles we make in trust and joy each day are far more worshipful than the exacted lines painstakingly made to match a product we do not know. So here is another of my New Year's resolutions. To balter. To balter with Jeff and the boys through these next few months or many more months of the process. And to try to live how Ian draws.
I pray that you get to balter today with those you love.
That you will embrace the process God has you in right now, today, rather than trying to guess the outcome or product He is making.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."