For as long as I can remember, writing has just been something I do. It’s like I wake up in the morning and have something to say…sometimes I don’t even know what it is yet. But I know it’s in there, and it’s important. Sometimes it’s a certain topic, other times it’s a feeling…. a deep almost inexpressible feeling.
It’s like a challenge awaits me. The challenge is to share that feeling, to put it into the right words so that others can feel it too. For some, a challenge like that seems overwhelming. For me, it brings about a sense of relief, as if finally others can understand another piece of what is in my heart, another thought that makes me who I am. This is why I’m unconcerned with whether or not people agree with me, because I know that one of the things that makes me, me, are my individual thoughts.
My thoughts today?
I like being alone. A lot.
The silly part though, is that I also like being with people a lot. This results in a funny little thing, for what brings me the most stress, in the end also brings me the most joy. I’m like an introverted-extrovert. If that’s even a thing.
Maybe you are one who understands this, but for those who don’t know the feeling, let me give you a little bit of an example:
Picture this…I’m reading in my room and I do not want to be disturbed by anyone…but what do you know, my child comes in, begging to play with me. Reluctantly, (and somewhat begrudgingly) I put down the book and I follow the child out of the room. To my surprise and delight, my child has planned something great and out of the ordinary for me.
A Game. But not just any game, something so sweet… a made up game! He thought it up for me. Just for me!
My heart warms.
I follow the arrows he made…first down the hall, then up the stairs, around corners, into rooms, through the bathroom and finally into my walk-through closet. I stop at the door that is labelled in my son’s messy, grade 3 writing. It says, “Open to find yor surpize”…. I slowly open, curious as to what the great surprise may be. Out jumps my shining faced boy, “Surprise!!!” I jump too, for he scared me, and we giggle together.
The thing that I really did not want to do, suddenly becomes something so much better than reading a book.
What if I had said no?
What if I would’ve told him that I was too tired for his game? Oh, my heart breaks at the very thought!!
And I realize, everything that’s worth anything seems to go this way. Like having a large family over for a meal. It’s work hosting a big group! But the hours spent in the presence of friends is priceless.
I remember, as a teen, sometimes spending an entire day watching TV. At the end of the day, you just don’t feel good, you don’t feel rested.
You feel gross.
Not necessarily guilty gross, but just physically, it doesn’t feel good. Why is that? I mean, it’s kinda like rest… and rest is good, so therefore I should feel better afterwards. Right?!?
But I never did.
Right now, I see a generation of people who are largely unhappy. I see multitudes of those who sit on their phones, spending many hours doing whatever they want. I see people rushing through the lines of the drive-through’s, getting what they want, when they want it. I see grown up “children” living in their parents basements, spending hours playing video games or sitting on Facebook, doing whatever they want to do…never stopping to reach for the next thing that will entertain, that will temporarily satisfy their craving for self, for fun, for happiness.
But if we have everything, then why aren’t we happy? How come, in a generation where we have so much, are depression and sadness so common? If all our friends are just a text message away, then why is our generation so lonely?
Lately, there’s one question I’ve been asking myself a lot. I ask myself this question every time I’m about to add another thing to my list of things to do and the question is this: Is this worth my time?
On the heels of that question come harder questions to wrestle with…just what do I want to accomplish in my life? What am I going to add to my life that is going to fulfill a greater purpose?
Sometimes, in the busy seasons of life, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important. Especially this Christmas, I’ve felt the tug of this. For every group and activity we’re a part of, it seems like there’s another Christmas party to go to. And sometimes it’s great! But often I come home grumpy and exhausted. And I feel stuck.
Did you know that it is possible to just say no sometimes? Yeah, really! Who knew?!? I don’t have to go to every single party!
It just so hard to say no to things though, isn’t it? Because what if I’m missing out on something really good?
But it’s so, SO good for us. We can’t do everything and we can’t give everything. This doesn’t mean that we should say no to everything, but if one day you wake up, like me, and realize that in the next 10 days you don’t even have one single evening or day at home to yourself, then something has to change.
This Christmas season, as you reflect on your past year, ask yourself: Was I too busy? Was I selfish with my time? Did my schedule look too chaotic? Am I complaining about the things I’m doing instead of enjoying them? Am I making time for the most important people in my life? And as you ponder these questions, seek God on what HE wants you to spend your time on for the year ahead.
For some of us, we don’t need to change our schedules, we just need to change our attitudes. Sometimes, like my son’s big surprise, those things we don’t feel like doing are actually exactly what we need to be doing. On the flip side, if we are just dragging ourselves to event after event, completely worn down…maybe it’s time to ask God, “Is this something you want me to continue with in my life? Is it worth my time?”
Then, don’t just listen, ACT.