We Are Not Stretch Armstrong

stretchToday was the first day of the week that I didn’t go home nursing a headache.  Each day has been packed.  Things came to a bit of a respite today now that my chapel talk for next week has been recorded.  I can at least go to school tomorrow morning not worrying about an assembly or a professional development meeting.

Years ago (in the last century, even) Jewel had a song that posed the question “Who’s Will Save Your Soul?”  This afternoon I find myself asking another question: who’s going to shape your soul?  Blame it on my recent re-read of The Screwtape Letters, but it’s clear to me that even as a Christian there are forces at work (both aware and not) that are constantly pushing and pulling us into this direction or that.  Covidtide has been a powerful force in this as well, often amplifying already-difficult tasks and relationships.  Do we end up feeling like metal folding chairs that a weightlifter threw against the wall?  Or do we think that we’re Stretch Armstrong, able to be pulled in every direction and still able to retain some kind of basic (unhappy looking) shape?

It’s worth thinking about, and not because you want to lay blame on those who may or may not be doing the shaping.  We have ourselves to blame for our misshapen selves, too.  But it is another opportunity to check ourselves, our situations, as we move forward into what could be a very “unknown” 2021.  Weeks like this one remind me that I’m not Stretch Armstrong, no matter how flexible I might seem.  And I really don’t want to be the metal folding chair left to rust after being thrown against the wall.  We need to be mindful of what is shaping us.

(image from Walmart.com)

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