It seems that time slips through my fingers like sand on the beach; it doesn’t matter how hard I attempt to grasp at it, it eludes me.
Life is busy, a train that never stops. We have obligations, duties, responsibilities. We have families, friends, jobs. We have goals, dreams, ministries. It’s a massive three ball juggle and as soon as we master the balance of one triad, we put it down and pick up another.
As I stumble around looking for a balance between family, church, work, school, relationships, and sleep, I find myself lost. Somewhere along the journey I’ve dropped the things I care about most. I haven’t written much lately. I’ve touched the piano a handful of times this winter. I just this week have begun to read again. I started a painting in the beginning of October that sits neglected on my shelf.
It reminds me of when I was younger and did laundry. I never remembered to bring a basket downstairs to put my clothes in, was too lazy to go back up and grab one, and, as children do, packed the washer twice as full as you should. I would reach into the dryer and pile all the clothes on top of it and when it was all out, I would open my arms and try to grab it all at once like a massive claw. If I did manage to get it all on the first try, which rarely happened, I spent the majority of the walk upstairs dropping things, grabbing them with my toes, then shuffling up with a bulging pile of cotton in my arms, between my legs, and gripped by each foot. Chances were I had a few things draped on my head.
This seems like a silly picture, but is it really much different from what most of us do on a daily, monthly, yearly basis? Don’t we pile things on until there is too much to carry and then stumble around haphazardly trying to balance everything until we just get where we’re going? The tricky thing about life, though, is you never really get where you’re going. As soon as you get where you thought you wanted to be, there’s somewhere else to go.
The point is, I do too much. I always have and, because it’s who I am, I probably always will. I want to be on top of it all. Unfortunately, I want to be the king of too many things. There is the rare person that can do eighty million things with a near perfect track record, but us mere mortals don’t tend to have that luxury. Sure, I can do okay at a ton of things and manage to keep it all together, but do I want to constantly be picking things up as they fall off? No. I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “Not bad, I survived.”
I would rather do a few things really well, things I am passionate about and am willing to devote myself to, than keep treading water my whole life. That takes sacrifice though. To do that I have to give some things up. With a massive over-achiever complex, that’s a hard pill to swallow. I want to be the best at EVERYTHING!
A while ago I read “Love Does” by Bob Goff and in one of the chapters he talks about Thursdays. Thursdays are his quitting days. Every Thursday he quits something because he believes that the more he is doing, the thinner he is spread and the less he can actually accomplish. He wants his life to be one lived for God, not lived for human accomplishment.
As usual, when I sat down to write this, I honestly had no idea what would come out. When I started reflecting on my life recently, this is what was produced. I’m not suggesting you or I quit something every Thursday. I’m not even saying you have to quit anything. But I think self-reflection of one’s life is valuable and upon my reflection, I know there is a prioritization that must take place.
Today I’m spending some time dreaming about what my life could look like if I shook off the excess and gave more of myself to a select few things I really care about. Sometimes I wish I had more hours in my days, but I think what I need is less crap filling the hours I do have.
The new year has passed, but hopefully the time for self-reflection never leaves you. Take time to examine your life. Are you happy with the way you’re carrying your load or do you know there needs to be a shift in how you walk? Either way, be encouraged. Each new day is another chance to shine.
By: Victoria Rinear