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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life at the Pointy End

There are two views of life: the pointy and blunt. From one is the fire of critique, from the other is a lounge chair with a view over things that’s never quite real. To the former we offer our empathy, to the latter we send thought of a reality check.

As far as outlook’s concerned, we all feature for both of these types.

Never is life at the pointy end as easy as it looks. But if it’s not lived there, then there’s no experience afforded to life, just ease, and that ease is the hushed though certain road to hell if we remain on it.

Time for a Reality Check?

For all people there is a perennial challenge—to enjoy a good dose of realism so far as our expectations of others are concerned.

Those who feel at present like they’re at the pointy end of life are more likely to be empathetic to the plight of others, and realism mightn’t be the point, for they’re busy staving off challenges to their sanity.

But for those of us ‘busy’ at lounge room level, there’s the opportunity to get alive and interested in life again, because life subsists at the pointy end.

Then again, to take a moment for breath is not really about the lounge room view. It’s the wisdom of discernment to know better by withdrawing to learn, by keeping abreast of the trends that impact our lives.

Feeling ‘Pressed-In’?

Those at the pointy end are feeling the weight of burden and that can seem overwhelming. Hope gives way to hopelessness in an instant as the inequities of the present time swarm about, over and through.

But, feeling pressed-in is a paradoxically blessed position.

Little do those at the pointy end know—because they’re busy fighting the raucous flames of derision—but the Lord is on their side, so long as they don’t give up and remain stoic throughout. That’s not to say they shouldn’t seek support and solace; it’s wisdom to engage in respite.

Respite is a cherished thing when taken in timely ways and circumstances. Times like this we ‘slip out’ without much notice. Sometimes a moment is all it takes—even if that moment is a full day or a week (or longer).

If you need respite, plan a covert operation. Remove yourself from the fray.


Each of us features for a bit of both these situations above. We can know where we’re blessed and where, situationally, we aren’t. Comfort has its limits.

It bodes us well to know where favour rests. To manage life at the pointy end such that we’re of good use to people and not always overwhelmed by the pressures brought about by that state is blessed balance.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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