I passed a milestone this past Thursday. And it may seem so simple, but it showed me something....
My lessons plans were done by Thursday night. I had planned on finishing them early, so that my weekend would be free for moving. What I didn't plan on was all of the extra ideas that would pop into my head, causing me to make yet another list of 20 things to do in my classroom this coming week. I took Friday off of school in order to pack...worried about the kids all day...debated over going in to collect their tests and papers at the end of the day...decided not to later on in the midst of my already busy day...then, thought all weekend about the rest of the class plans that needed to be made.
See, usually my lesson plans get put off until Sunday night. Usually, I hem and haw, feeling guilty about my "work free" Saturdays, lunch with friends after church, possibly a nap or two, etc., etc.
Even now, I am sitting here thinking about the missions update I need to send out to so many people...it's coming...dvd, pictures, newsletter all of it. I'm thinking about the music I'd like to start writing again. I'm thinking about the business that Lys and I only dream of at this point. So many things...and I wonder when I will actually find the time to pursue them.
All of this to say, that after finishing my normal "busy" work early on...I realized that it will never be enough. I will never be done with the feeling of having to do more. There will always be another project, another improvement, another way to achieve success. Now I see how work can become an addiction.
Now I see how easily we can become lost in the day to day striving.
Yesterday morning, Z., one of my students, came up to me while we stood in the line for the restrooms. He knew he was supposed to be quietly waiting his turn but he just had to tell me what happened that morning. Right before school, his mom had let him hold his new baby brother. He was so proud, so excited about the new life that he was able to be a part of. And I thought to myself...this is what life is about...not paperwork deadlines...not standards and rituals and routines. It's about enjoying the small, meaningful moments that can almost escape us if we are not careful.
I am so thankful for this move. I am thankful because the time I spend with my parents will now be planned and purposeful. I am thankful because I am living with two girls who know how to grab ahold of life and enjoy the moment. I need them right now.
I could almost get wrapped up in trying to perfect this job I'm in. It will never happen...no matter how late I stay into the evening...no matter how many hours of sleep I sacrifice. Yep, I'll feel awful good about the great job that I'm doing. But when I check my heart...where will I be...where will my song be playing...where will I have met with God? I'm not really sure...I have been too busy trying to be perfect...trying to be defined by the work that I do.
After dropping my kids off this afternoon...I walked back to my classroom and talked with Nan for an hour. It was raining outside...the classroom flooded with light contrasting the outdoor gloom. As she talked about heading home, I thought about the work that needed to be done. I decided to leave it and go home too. Tomorrow it will be waiting...and I'll think..."if only I had stayed...". But what is life without the prospect of love and spontaneity and enjoying a rainy, Tuesday evening with friends in your new apartment?
It's time to find the balance. It's time to follow my heart. Most importantly it's time to walk with the Lord and rely on His grace...not just my own strength.