We watched Eat Pray Love last night.
It was a good movie I suppose, unexceptionally predictable and charmingly wistful but generally unfulfilling. For those who haven’t seen it (and if you’ve seen [fill in any romantic comedy over the last 10 years] you’ve seen it), the story was about a woman who traveled the world to find her meditative state and struggled to let others love her because she couldn’t love herself. Whatever.
I was intrigued though by the catalyst for this woman’s adventure. See, she lived a rather normal life, probably similar to you or me or my sister or your brother. She was a writer with lots of friends, living in the U.S. with her husband, drinking wine on the weekend, going to shows on weeknights, a normal life. The thing that drove her to the edge though, to catch a plane to the middle of everywhere that wasn’t here, was the schizophrenia of her husband.
He wasn’t like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest or anything like that. He was just vocationally ambiguous with a large side helping of “I have no idea what I’m doing with my career.” Probably much like a lot of us. He couldn’t make up his mind about what he wanted to do with his life. So she just…left.
Jen and I struggle back and forth a lot with what I want to do, what I want my career to look like. I like to dream. She likes to be able to pay the rent. I’m irrational. She settles me down. I have a million ideas. She tells me to choose one (or two). I love endless possibilites. She sees the framework within which we must operate.
To her credit, Jen is (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) usually the down-to-earth of us two. I should clarify that I’m only talking in terms of dreams and ambitions and professions and things like that. She’s also the same person who tried to convince me to buy an Airstream for us to live in, possibly permanently, so that should tell you where I’m at with these kinds of things if she’s the “down-to-earth one.”
She reassures me that, yes, it’s OK to have dreams and weave words and make plans. She encourages me to do so. But her heart must not be whipped back and forth in the winds of my indecision. She must know what exactly it is I need encouragement in.
Proverbs 31 is famously the “how to be the awesomest and hottest (always 2 t’s) wife ever” chapter of the Bible. But I think verse 23 is speaking to me:
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
The gates weren’t where the Israelite men who were good at playing xbox for dozens of hours at a time because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives hung out. This was where the the leaders hung out. The men who made firm decisions and led with integrity. The men who had vision.
I know there were plenty of leaders in the Bible who were schizophrenic in their decisions (Jonah) and indecisive in their profession (Paul – writer, tentmaker, killer(!), traveler, preacher) but to you my wife, I strive to be more focused with my dreams, more consistent in my work, and less of a burden on your heart of encouragement.
Oh, and happy 6 months 🙂
Today is also my grandparents’ 64th wedding anniversary. We have a long way to go….
If you missed them over the weekend here are two posts you might want to check out: