Of all the lessons I am struggling to learn, finding balance is surely one of the more difficult, and therefore one of the more stubborn. To put it this way, I constantly felt caught between what I should be, what I want to be, and what I am.
Take yesterday for instance. I was busy. All day. I vacuumed. I mopped. I met my husband for lunch. I ran some errands. I washed and folded (and put away!) several loads of laundry. I ironed. I cooked supper. I transported children to and from school and basketball practice and the barber shop. I did a little Bible study. I replied to email and read a few blogs.
Not necessarily in that order.
It was a good day. A full day.
Yet still, there is all that I didn’t do. I should’ve walked, like for exercise. I have book reviews that need to be written. The flowerbed needs weeding. The boys’ clothes need sorting. My pantry needs cleaning out. And don’t even get me started on the state of my younger sons’ room…
And what about those things I want to do? I would have liked to have posted some charming blog thought and read more of the two (or three) books I am currently in the middle of.
What does it mean to redeem the time when I can’t do all I ought, much less all I want? What redeems the time and what wastes it? Is it merely a matter of discipline and good time management skills?
I think part of the answer lies in priorities. “Do the next important thing,” I read somewhere recently. Wise advice. Yet still I wonder: can reading be the next important thing over mopping my floor? When do I cross the line to self indulgence?
Other days are somewhat less productive as compared to yesterday, so perhaps it is a lack of self discipline. I’ve tried to implement a schedule for myself, but I inevitably end up distracted or my best laid plans become thwarted by the unexpected, and my schedule becomes a source of guilt.
How am I to spend my day? What does redeeming the time look like here in my real life of laundry and blogging and car line? Is it only about a floors mopped and miles walked? How can I know what is good and what is best? What is it the Lord requires of me? Can I know?
Am I alone in my struggle? Are you master of your To Do list, or do you, like me, struggle with (not) doing it all?
While sometimes I am unsure about how exactly it translates into my everyday life, I can know what the Lord requires of me:
“…to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [my] God…” (Micah 6:8)
“Whatever [my] hand finds to do, [to] do it with [my] might…” (Ecc. 9:10)
To love well, my blog friend Kelly is no doubt itching to comment. Not only that, but the Word of God promises that as I seek Him in humble surrender, He will direct my path and my To Do list.
Perhaps this day I clean house. The next I may run errands. Whatever I do, may I work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord I will receive the inheritance as my reward. I am serving the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24)