The Pendulum Can Be A Pit

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Bishop on unsplash

Growing up in the Midwest, winters were bitterly cold and snow was the norm. I loved being outside, ice skating, sledding, snowball fights.

Shoveling snow? Not so much.

In the evenings, when darkness fell quickly, my twin sister and I would play in our basement. Dad had rigged a swing down there–we had the space to reach great heights.

One night we made a bet with each other. Neither of us remembers whose idea it was–it wasn’t a good one. We were going to see how high we could swing with our hands holding at the base of the wooden board we sat on.

Maybe we were bored. Possibly we were six-year-old adrenaline junkies. Whatever the case, I got on the swing and began pumping for all I was worth.

Over a cement floor.

I know I got pretty high, but I clearly remember getting to the top of the arc going forward and didn’t swing back. I fell backward. Hitting the back of my head on the hard floor.

There was blood. Lots of blood. Head injuries are notorious for producing quantities of the red stuff. I remember being dazed–it was probably shock. Dad drove me to the emergency room.

It’s amazing how clear some memories are and how dull others can become. This one stands out boldly. The doctor told me the stitches were going to hurt.

Which they did.

Lesson learned–if I’m going to swing high over concrete, hold higher.

Life for me is a series of soaring loftily one way, trying to balance it out and moving too far the other way. The pendulum of life that defines things in hyperbole rather than acceptable norms. Extremes as opposed to moderation.

A case in point. I was invited to a gathering that appeared casual, so I showed up in nice jeans, a top, and soccer flops.

Everyone else was in a dress with heels.

We had a party for a large group of people at our home. I baked twelve pans of assorted brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Rice Krispy treats for the occasion.

Half of them were untouched.

My life of faith can look like this pendulum swing. I can act like it all depends on me, where every rule must be followed, every meeting attended, signing up for every possible volunteer opportunity. I act like my doing, my producing, makes me more acceptable to God. As if He owes me.

There are the days I ignore Him completely. I do my thing my way. I justify my behavior to myself in a way that makes it workable. Then guilt and shame creep up and make me miserable.

God doesn’t need for me to do for Him–He’s done it all for me. Paid the price fully for all my contrariness and wandering ways.

He’s not fire insurance either. Not a prayer to be said to gain access to heaven. He’s a Father who wants to interact with His children. Show them how much He loves them.

The balance? Being loved perfectly and learning to love Him more.

Where is your pendulum taking you?



5 responses to “The Pendulum Can Be A Pit”

  1. Ahhh, as always, such appropriate words for my heart – especially as I am here with my family for my dad’s funeral. Pendulum swings going on everywhere! Hoping desperately to remember that I am loved perfectly, learning to love Him more – while attempting to demonstrate His love to others, in a not-so-spiritual environment… As often as I forget it, I am so very grateful it does not all depend on me. Love you, dear friend. Thank you for writing from your heart and feeding my soul when I need it most.


    1. Oh, sweet friend, to be in a place of pain–again–and needing the courage and strength to walk with the Lord in the midst of your own loss and everyone else’s is hard. It can be a crazymaker–but thank God He’s greater and better than the crazy. Praying for strength and courage to walk well in Him and comfort and peace that will fill your heart and soul as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. 💛💛💛


  2. Dear Dayle, you give so much and expect so much from yourself. It’s all good…but doing less may give you even more joy and blessing which will surely overflow to those you love and minister to.

    Retirement from year-round Cru involvement has been a blessing for us as we hit our 70’s. We still love helping Bailey Sr. w/the Legacy filming project but, otherwise, channel our ministry to others thru church and neighborhood. It’s a great relief and blessing and continues to invigorate and bless us and others. Just to say, you can back off the accelerator a bit and continue to bless and experience blessing. I smile as I write, knowing the inner push to do more is always there but not necessarily God’s nudge. I love you and so appreciate the work and words you produce and share. I love, even more, your heart.

    Sandra Auer Sent from my iPhone



    1. Wow. I can’t thank you enough for this “permission” from someone who is a few steps ahead of me. You’re absolutely right–the internal push is constant, and the accelerator gets stuck ALL the time. I appreciate your kindness in this, Sandra. You’ll laugh at this–my kids have been telling me the same thing. Thanks for being a balm to my soul, dear friend.


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