Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tug of War

The last time I was involved in a tug of war was when I was a college student at camp. We did it in the sand by the bay. Everyone kept yelling, "Dig in! Dig in!" While this was probably good advice, it wasn't all that helpful in sand unless you had a pretty good size trench. The whole time we were stepping on each other and falling down. I have no clue which team won but I do know I didn't enjoy it at all. Later when I went to camp as a staff, I opted out of that event!

Today I talked to Julie about a conflict I'm in with someone. She made the observation that we appear to be in a bit of a tug of war. She had some great advice. She said, "If you want to end a tug of war, you can lay down your rope and walk toward the other person." I struggled with that a bit after she said it. My emotional gut level reaction said that I should "dig in." When I dig in, I don't usually just do it with my feet. My trench has to be at least waist deep!

Julie is one of those people who can say things softly but still get the point across. Much of the time, I spoke about not feeling "safe." SAFETY is HUGE for me. I think there is some element of that involved. But Julie just said, "I cannot tell if you aren't feeling safe or if you have dug your heels in."

Honestly, I think it was some of both. I'm still not feeling totally safe regarding the situation. But, tonight I sent an email in an attempt to "lay down my rope and walk toward the other person." We'll see what happens.

Even though it doesn't feel totally safe, some of the angst about the situation dissipated in sending that email. Perhaps, it is simply because I am choosing not to tug back. Depending on the response I get, I may have to keep choosing to let that rope lie there rather than pick it up. Even if the other person tugs it a few more times, there shouldn't be much harm (as long as I don't grab it back) because tug of war by yourself is completely useless and I can't imagine anyone keeping at it when no one is pulling back.

So, I've laid down the rope and now I have to wait and see about a meeting in a few days. Please pray for me to let that rope stay right there on the ground and be able to trust God for the sense of safety I need.

Are you in a tug of war? What do you think would happen if you stopped tugging?

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