So my train of thought as I prepare for work this morning was how I needed to be living for myself. That probably sounds as weird as it looks on the page... what I mean is that I've got to get my own to-do list started, and start tackling my own goals and dreams. And boy, do I have a laundry list.
So most of today was spent about contemplating this laundry list...
....Get back into shape on piano so I can really enjoy playing with the worship teams again (gosh do I stress out about not being good enough).
....Write a book about my journey, my health challenges, where my hope comes from, and how my faith makes me feel invincible.
....Stay healthy, run... do all the races and marathons I can possibly run.
....Dive into ministry. Build people up (Eph. 2:22... in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit).
....Build relationships with people. Learn to accept their grace and help, learn how to bestow my own grace and aid.
....Travel EVERYWHERE and take agabazillion pictures of it all. If God creates so many beautiful places for us, how can we be content to see only our small corner of it? (Rom. 1:20...For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made...)
....Get trained as a medic so I can be tangibly useful on a missions trip.
....Go on a missions trip! (Or several!!)
And all the while glorifying God and following Jesus.
As I'm contemplating this laundry list of what I REALLY want to be doing, I'm stuck at work, trying to focus on what's in front of me. Instead I'm putting out fires and giving attention to all the little short term things that pop up. The several projects at work that all are 'priority', making sure I'm in school and set for next semester, trying to stand up my new account for my health insurance, grocery shopping, errands, clean, figure out why the car is making these funny noises and how I'm going to find the time and money to get it fixed. Quickly my day got overwhelming. And frustrating, because I'm realizing that I'm spending all my time and energy on things that don't really matter, at least that don't really matter to me.
This all makes me think that I need to prune away the things that are keeping me away from my "laundry list".
"A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' 'Sir', the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' (Luke 13:6-9)
Luke 13 also tells me three years. A period of "ample opportunity". A prescription of patience, because no sturdy tree grows that way simply overnight. A good tree takes time to strengthen. I realize three years is not the golden rule, what's important is the lesson implied. But when do I cut it down? When do I abandon my pursuits as fruitless and go on to something more worthy?
My health only leaves me with so much energy through the day. I have good days and bad days, and I never know which is coming up next. So I try to maximize the time I have when I do have energy. Only there are so many distractions present, and these consume the precious energy and time I do have, leaving me little to devote to things that really matter.
If you were to live each day like it was your last, would you really be worried about the trivial things? Or would you try to work on your own laundry list? Live like not a single minute is unimportant or expendable, (Matthew 25:13, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour").
The plan for now... patiently await God's plan. Invest in other trees that could grow fruit, and wait for one to bloom.
Waiting. is. not. easy.