Ditching the Dichotomy

What do you do when there’s a dichotomy within you? When you’re being pulled in two different directions by your own mind or emotions, what do you do? I consistently have this battle within myself. I feel myself drawn toward adventure and whimsy while being a fan of roots and routine. I hate the mundane while despising surprises. And I’m incredibly analytic while being simultaneously creative. There were times while attempting to compose at my piano, that my fingers would form a chord, though my brain had no idea why. I would then stop and begin to analyze the situation, in an attempt to figure out what I had just done and the reasoning behind it. Each one of these sessions would ultimately lead to me being incredibly confused, unsure what else to do but laugh at how ridiculous I looked in the moment.

What do you do when there’s a war within yourself? Which voice do you listen to? 

I don’t have an answer to this. I am asking God, myself, even you. In this strange situation I find myself in, I feel the only solution is to pray and keep moving.

For many years I thought of myself as an anomaly, some strange mix of personality traits, dreams, desires, and talents that really don’t fit together but, because God was in a silly mood, just kind of happened. He needs a laugh every once in a while, right? I joked for many years that I was the result of an elaborate prank set by the Almighty. However, as I’ve been drawing nearer to God and learning more about myself, I’ve realized this view is clearly wrong (though I like to think I make God laugh every once in a while), but it leaves me still without an answer to the question.

In conversations over the past few weeks I’ve realized something powerful:

I am not alone. 

My polar opposite personality traits and wide varieties of interests and skills aren’t a mistake. I’m not an isolated incident, but there are many like me who feel torn between different desires or opposing interests. But what if that’s not wrong? What if that’s what God intended us to be? I have a friend who has an immense heart for people, yet is a strict rule-follower who sees things in black and white, leaving little room for gray or ambiguity. Another trusted friend is both a details person and a big-picture thinker who is able to balance creativity and forethought beautifully.

For years, people have been boxed into one camp or another: details or vision, people-focused or task-oriented, creativity or science, the list can go on and on. But this isn’t a reflection of God. We can’t put him into a box or fit him into a binary category. I believe He has given all of us a wide variety of skills but most of the time we pick one or two to focus on, which makes sense, because we want to master the talent. After all, we’re to be good stewards, right?

What would happen if we branched out? What if we tried something new and married creativity and logic or found a way to balance spontaneity with routine? What would the world look like if we began to blend some of these seemingly opposite things? I think we could create something new and exciting and beautiful in the process.

I don’t know what this fully looks like, but I’m willing to submit to God and his leading as I walk out this journey. What about you?

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