Righting practices: Channeling my inner weeble
Do you remember Weebles? They wobble but they don’t fall down. I loved those. Somehow, no matter how hard you shoved them in any direction, they managed to spring back into upright. I wanna be a bit more weeble.
Folks will tell you they’re stable. They are staunch supporters of this or firm believers in that. They are grounded. Founded. Staying put. Not going anywhere. Often, from their place of firmness they wave their arms to orchestrate or advise. And if they see you running to and fro they’ll tell you to relax. Just be still. Like they are.
I wonder. Are they stable? Or are they stuck?
The test of stability is whether, when something collides with you like a runner coming down the 3rd base line while you block home plate, you stand your ground or get thrown out of the way. The most stable have a bit of give to them. They absorb the shock of the incoming force, cushion it, and then spring back. Like weebles.
When I seem to be standing still, how do you know if I’m stable or I’m stuck? Easy. You apply some force. Give a shove. See how I respond. If I tense and defend or deflect, I’m stuck. If I wobble and right myself, I’m balanced.
By the power of give and take, I find my center. Again. Perhaps God rounded our bottoms so we could discover our inner weebles. And the confidence to listen and respond to all that differs from us and then to right ourselves. Centered, grounded and maybe even a bit more rounded.
Of course, I am a contemporary weeble; I have hands and feet. I can use them to move in any direction I choose. To reach as far as my center will allow, as long as I am willing to absorb the recoil.
Giving and taking, it’s all part of the Dance
Some say there are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Givers give because:
- they’re generous/have the gift of generosity or
- they want people to like them or
- they want to be sure they are good enough
- some want to be sure they are good enough for God
Takers take because:
- they are grateful to receive or
- they are afraid of losing what they have and/or not having enough or
- they think they deserve more than they have or
- they grew up believing finders/keepers loser’s/weepers or its modern version, “you snooze you lose”
I’d like to think there is a third kind of person in the world: the give and taker.
- Sometimes they give; sometimes they take.
- It doesn’t matter where you start because it’s a cycle.
- The giving is in response to the taking and
- The taking is in response to the giving.
On my best days, and I pray this becomes more the everyday case, I am a give-and-taker.
- I have a plan, intentions, objectives, but none of it carved in stone. (taking)
- I go about my day attending to what needs doing but with my senses tuned to what else needs doing so I can revise my course without disruption. (giving)
- Once adjusted, I adopt to my new plan and assess my options trusting my new course will become clear. (taking)
- As I engage the new plan, I watch and listen for something that’s said or done that guides my next steps. (giving)
I find when I am in give and take mode, I arrive at a destination and accomplish a task or tasks that dovetail perfectly with whatever else I was doing. It may seem like it was all my idea, but if it were, it wouldn’t feel like this. It would have been an uphill struggle, a long hard climb, and I would be exhausted when I reached the peak. Instead, I feel rejuvenated – perhaps not physically so – but alive with a new idea or a next step or a modification. I have taken, and now I am on to the give.
Give and taker, it doesn’t flow so well, does it? Perhaps re-modeler. But without a particular endpoint in mind. I don’t have the “perfect living room design” in my game plan. More of a…Okay, this needs adjusting, and now that must be moved to accommodate the shift. It’s a whole remodeling dance.
You lead. I’ll follow. Then, let’s switch. Sort of a whirl. A flowing dance between partners. What a beautiful thing that must be, looking from above and beyond and before and after. An infinite ballroom of glittering gowns and flowing tales, in perfect procession, perfect rhythm, perfect balance. Divinely choreographed and moving freely. Unfettered. Unhindered.
From within my own dance, there may be a lot of awkwardness. But, that’s probably just me trying not to step on my own toes. God is Lord of that dance and every other one on the floor. 1-2-3, 1-2-3.