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Sunday, July 01, 2007

hard choices

It's been a busy few days, what, with leading at church, hosting four church people for today's 'mystery lunch'... and all those other every day things that demand time every day of the week. Not hard to see where the last five days have gone!

In the middle of the busyness I've been feeling quite a bit of frustration at my inability to get to those things I really want to do. It's not surprising then that yesterday as I ran around tidying, sweeping, dusting, cooking and cleaning while Frank read a book, I found myself caught up in a PMT fueled moan about my lack of time. I was irritated that Frank had time to enjoy reading and I did not. When do I get time for reading? Almost never.

The more I've thought about this, the more the word 'choices' keeps appearing before my eyes. It all comes down to choices.

Do I have time to read? Well yes, if I made it my number one priority, I would have time to read! Is there time for craft? If I made time for craft, I could most certainly engage in it. Could I fit silence and reflection into my life? If I wanted to be silent and reflect, I would create the necessary space to sit quietly. If I chose to place greater emphasis on these things I would do them ahead of blogging, sudoku, Ugly Betty, random internet surfing... and all the other jobs that must be done.

Ultimately I do have time (24 hours a day to be precise) - but do I have the courage to make the choices that would allow myself the freedom to use that time differently?

It occurs to me that my 'I never have enough time' catchphrase is little more than a poor excuse for a faulty value system. From time to time I have visions of a personal eulogy which says 'she never had time for all she wanted to do'. Then I realise a more accurate assessment of my life would be 'she never made time for all she wanted to do.' And why? Because I value things according to a faulty scale. Busyness is next to godliness; stillness is irrelevant. Productivity is the measure of a person's worth; if there is no meaningful output (and craft doesn't count as meaningful) nothing of value has been achieved. If my soul grew but nothing was ticked off my to-do list, the day is wasted.

And meanwhile I shrivel up inside, my soul starving for attention, crying out to be fed as I willfully stifle its cries with a never ending cycle of tasks that must be achieved.

But must they? Who said cleanliness is next to godliness? Who decreed a shop bought cake is of the devil? When was it decided that only Cecily could complete certain tasks? Is it law that every church activity must be participated in? (For the record, I don't participate in every church activity, but sometimes I am wracked with guilt because I don't) Who prescribed productivity as the greatest measure of a person's worth?

Not God, I'm certain! I don't think he sees much of value in any of those things! So why can't I just let go?

Because of my choices! I measure my own worth against some ridiculous made up standard of super church-serving-home-cooking-house-cleaning-hard-studying-career-woman wifely-ness. And when I find myself not measuring up, I work even harder to meet the mark.

No wonder I have no time for any of life's simple pleasures! That faulty value system gets me every time. I desperately need to take hold of my life instead of letting life take hold of me.

I need to find the courage to make the choices that will allow me the freedom to use my time differently.

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3 Comments:

At 4:33 am, July 02, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

Find the courage, Cec. It will make all the difference!

Excellent post! You are onto something truly important and life-altering. Follow, friend, follow.

Thanks for the smack upside the head! I needed that.

 
At 7:33 am, July 02, 2007, Blogger Deanna said...

You said it. Cherie said it, too. There are moments when we need to grow inside. I think life is showing you something true.

 
At 7:33 pm, July 03, 2007, Anonymous Mr Nate? said...

hey sis, long time no writing, but in one of my occasional cyber-ambles I dropped in.

Thought something I read today in the book I'm currently attacking was interesting and perhaps relevant.

The book is Anthropology for Christian Witness by C. H. Kraft he's talking about how the western world has changed the way we mature into adults and brought identity confusion with it.

"Young people cannot feel secure in knowing that they are going to be important, productive members of adult society. Rather, we are expected to achieve adultness, to earn it. This results in our being insecure during our younger years for fear we will not succeed, and insecure in our adult years because we are not sure we have made it..."

Thought that was interesting and maybe relevant to your thoughts?

 

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