I meet with a spiritual director every month. She’s a Jesus-loving woman who sits down with me and helps me sort through all of the wild trails that have been blazed over the last few weeks, clearing a path forward and challenging and encouraging me in my walk with Jesus. She’s known me for years and as a result can tell where my mind is going sometimes before even I can.
When I met with her recently, it was a normal afternoon, and I felt there wouldn’t be much to report to her. It wasn’t quite a dry patch but more of a plateau that I felt in my heart. My relationship with God was fine, but nothing major or notable seemed to be going on — or so I thought.
Then, as we sat down and dug in, I felt in my gut a whole lot of things rising to the surface. There was anxiety and insecurity and anger and sadness and confusion that had been bubbling for a long while without me even knowing, and I found myself getting, well, wound up. I was a flurry of emotions, and suddenly when I thought about my career or my writing or my relationships, it was more of a tsunami than a simple wave to ride. Everything felt overwhelming and in my effort to try and make sense of it, I was getting more and more stuck. What do I do next? What am I supposed to be doing now? Am I in the right place? Is my calling something else?
The questions kept winding me up tighter and tighter until she gently asked me to take some deep breaths and spend time in prayer.
Ten minutes later, I let out a sigh and said, “What I need is a windup or to unwind with Jesus — not to get wound up.”
The image that came to mind is that of a pitcher in a baseball game. They do not haphazardly throw a ball, but rather they move their bodies intentionally to create forward motion and pitch the ball where it needs to go. We call it The Windup. In a similar way, I found myself desiring to be intentional in my efforts with Jesus and leaning into whatever it was He had for me. But I almost missed it because I wasn’t winding up; I was getting wound up. I was running myself ragged rather than abiding with Jesus. I was trying to solve every step rather than taking the next step on purpose.
I wasn’t giving myself space to unwind either — to sit down and rest with God, allowing His voice to fill the quiet places. I longed to just sit with Him and let the fears and concerns go for a moment.
So often, we live in the place of getting wound up instead of listening to the call to unwind (or abide with Jesus like John 5:14 encourages) or wind up (or set our hearts on Jesus with intentionality like Colossians 3:2 says). We think we’re doing what’s good for our hearts, but maybe we’re asking the wrong questions or going into a quiet time with a laundry list of things to rant about. And certainly, Jesus can handle our rants. But perhaps when we pause to pray and make room to be intentional, we can hear God better than when we wind ourselves up for no real reason.
Jesus can carry us, friend. Go find Him, wind up and unwind.