Existential Pinch

People talk about having an existential crisis and it is amazing to me how often I feel some version of that, but rarely does it feel like a crisis. More like a little pinch.

I feel like I’m a fairly driven and motivated person (even though I don’t know if I want to be) — I always want to make forward progress. And rarely do I feel like I’m making negative progress, but there are seasons in life where I feel like I’m just standing still. And that makes me feel like I’m wasting my life.

I was telling Alissa about this and that I feel like what am I really accomplishing. Am I just living one day to the next? And she gently and lovingly but firmly rebuked me by reminding me that I’m helping raise two boys and helping them be better men. Okay point taken but is that it?

Well first of all, if that was it, that would be more than enough. That has been the focus of my life’s work for the past 4 years since we started as foster parents and while I’m infinitely aware of all my short-comings in a million different ways, I’m also really good at this. And Alissa and I are really good as a team at this.

And it isn’t all that I’m involved with or doing. I’m treasuring up all the things that I’m doing and just remembering that God is so good.

I think it’s really easy to read other people’s blogs or watch YouTube videos and think — I don’t have the time to build projects with wood like I would like. Or, I’m an okay photographer, but I’m not a really great one like that guy. Or how cool would it be if I was great at cooking, but my 14 year old said my spaghetti sauce this week was good so why isn’t that enough?

Basically, my existential pinch is because I don’t have time for normal people hobbies? I don’t have time to invest in woodworking because instead I’m spending my time working on training materials for this trip I’m leading to Uganda later this summer and I want to equip 31 mzungus how to think about poverty and I’m having an existential difficulty because I also don’t have time to progress on my woodworking backlog?

Brains are weird. One of these will have a lasting (I hope) impact on the lives of the poor and vulnerable, and one of these will be sold at a garage sale for like twenty bucks when I’m dead. And my brain is questioning whether my life has enough meaning because I won’t have another piece of junk my kids have to get rid of when I’m dead.

Okay, brain. Go be weird. I’ll ignore your existential questions until you stop being dumb.