As the clock ticked down in 2015, I was ready to ring in the new year on a mission.
It was time to move full speed ahead. I planned on opening up my life like never before, utilizing both writing and filming to formulate creative ways to tell my story. I had a schedule ready with weekly posts and videos; vocational as well as intellectual goals in place; and a renewed sense of energy being back up in the chair after what was a difficult year of physical issues.
Just a few days into the new year, my neck had other ideas, causing so much discomfort that I was forced back in bed for a majority of the day.
And then another day…and another…and another…
God, are you kidding me? Again? This wasn’t my plan! Don’t you realize I have so much to get done? Frustrated, I spent the first few days of the year staring at the ceiling feeling like a failure as my to-do list sat unattended across the room from me.
As I slowly began ascertaining my grip on the reality that I can’t control how my body is going to respond on any given day, I realized I have no idea what all God may have for me in 2016- so why not just sit at his feet, asking what he actually wants me to do?
Rather than list out goals that I believe to be the secret to making the most of my time, what I really need to do is just relax, give myself grace, and ask the question, “What is God really saying to me? What is he asking me to do?” Because that’s all that matters.
Ultimately, I am a human being and not a human doer. Productivity is great and work has its place, but I can only control what I can control. There may be lessons far greater than any amount of productivity that I can be learning now. For this brief time in my life, there may be no better way to learn these lessons than being flat on my back.
When Jesus is hanging out with Mary and Martha in Luke 10, Martha busies herself with preparations while Mary simply sits at Jesus’ feet spending time with him. Martha may have gotten a medal for her ability to “get ‘er done,” but that wasn’t what pleased Jesus. “Mary has chosen what is best,” were his words, and what I’m constantly trying to remind myself of.
Being harder on myself to perform than God is, is pretty ridiculous. Without anyone breathing down my neck with lofty expectations, why do I feel the constant need to do more, perform, or measure up? The last thing I need to do is get so focused on productivity or playing catch-up that I miss out on enjoying what God has blessed me with in terms of relationships with him and others around me.
My job is to put my hand to the plow of whatever I believe God has called me to. If that is opening up on this platform, moving in a certain direction career-wise, or simply spending time with Jesus flat on my back; listening, contemplating, and completing the task to the best of my ability is all I need to do.
When I look back at 2016, I do not want to be examining a checklist, judging my performance based off whether or not I got everything done.
This season is not going to last forever. Why not take advantage of it?
In the meantime, I need to take setbacks in stride and embrace whatever I can learn along the way.
The year ahead will not be without its challenges, but as 2016 is underway, I believe cutting myself some slack will pave the way for the best year yet.
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