Monday, November 17, 2014

Thoughts on the Best Use of my Time

I've been thinking lately about time. About how my own time is precious to me. About how little time I feel like I have every day and yet how the hours and minutes can sometimes stretch into what feels like an eternity.

And I've thinking about how so often I want to use the time that I have in such a way as to feed my own wants (wants which are usually perceived as needs), and I get frustrated and upset when something interrupts me. I moan and complain about how I don't have enough time to myself and all the good things that I want to accomplish have to get pushed aside because there just isn't enough time in the day.

I hear the message being pushed relentlessly that we mothers need to prioritize time for ourselves to regroup and find ways to energize. I am confronted with the truth that I don't have anything left to give if I don't make time to care for myself. It is a truth indeed. But what if the reality of caring for myself looks different from the way I thought it should?

What if the people before me and the tasks I have been given are meant to be my sustenance?

What if putting one foot in front of the other with a cheerful heart will take me straight down the road to Paradise?

What if denying myself is the key to truly caring for myself?

Self-denial is not really an acceptable thing in this culture. It seems crazy and very counter-intuitive, especially in the context of self-care. But are we, as Christians, not called to die to self so that we can live in Christ?

In one of my favorite books it says,
If you cannot get rid of your own greatness, neither can you lay yourself open for real greatness. If you cling to your own freedom, you cannot share in true freedom, where only ONE will reins. 
If I truly want to do God's will, how can I then complain when He reveals it to me? If I want to cultivate virtue in myself, why do I then feel sorry for myself when the opportunity for practice arrives?

The truth is I usually do not want God's will - instead I want my will. I feel sorry for myself when I have to give up what I want. Self-pity gets in the way of the countless opportunities for growth that appear before me daily.

But do I really have cause to feel sorry for myself when I am desperately ill and my Physician has prescribed a treatment that will cure me forever?

Yes, physical nourishment is important; so is nourishment of the mind and spirit. But does God not provide all these things more richly for me than I could ever do for myself? Maybe it's time I started to trust in His providence more than in my own ideas.

Maybe it's time to stop focusing so much on the things that I think I need (i.e. what I want) and start focusing on how God provides for my true needs in a much deeper way than I could ever provide for myself.


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