I can be very determined.
I was going to write about my internal stance; fists holding themselves tight, my nails digging into my palms. My jaw clenched tight, eyes focused. Climbing.
I was going to tell you about my 9pm scrubbing of the laundry top to toe, and of my incredibly kept-up-with housework even during these school holidays. I could have bragged about my latest high distinction for the essay that was written during the craziest week of my year so far – and the way I wrote it, determined not to give up.
But I started thinking about all that striving and felt exhausted.
Exhausted because determination is not for the sole purpose of keeping our heads above water – that’s not the determination I want.
I believe we can have a determined stance that doesn’t leave us emotionally spent and falling apart at the end of the day.
That we’d be determined to get up, and show up – to use what we have, and not squander it but steward it carefully – our days, our loves, our talents, and our dreams. But lay down the struggle.
Determination is not a place of striving and clawing our way up and through and over.
It’s a resolve, yes.
It takes strength, yes. But not our strength.
We can have a stance that has us looking up, at rest within in our circumstances and full of hope that the small steps we determine to make today will be enough, because they’re married to a grace that multiplies what we have, and what we give.
Our faith can take up the slack. There is a grace for our inability.
We can’t do it all alone.
By definition, determination means having a firmness of purpose.
What purpose do I need to be firm about? What will I determine not to compromise on?
When we know, we are content in our determination.
It will be a quiet, daily walk that seeks not to prove anything to anyone, but to fulfill our very own purpose, in our own lane.
Jesus said “I must be about my father’s business” – he knew his purpose, and was determined to see it through – but didn’t run around like a crazy chook with it’s head cut off, striving and struggling and making a lot of noise.
It’s not a struggle or a striving.
It’s a quiet knowing what needs to be done, and then a daily showing up to simply get on with it.
Before you know it, you’ll have reached the top of that mountain.