The only thing I like when I’m at sea is floating on my back. I have astigmatism that prevents me from looking too long into something bright, but I love laying on my back against the water, the feel of the water lapping at my body, being calmly tossed by waves. Sometimes I drift too far from shore; but there’s nothing to it when I can calmly swim back, still facing the sky, to the beach.
It feels like nothing can go wrong until I feel the familiar sensation that occasionally comes up when I swim; a foot cramp.
Recently, I was given an opportunity that I never could have considered turning down. In the midst of everything that I was in at present, I felt like I had to grab it and knew it was something God wanted me to do. My toes can only curl in anticipation when I began my new task.
But I knew everything else would not just go away; so I had to make a lot of difficult decisions and cut back on several activities. I have a lot of thoughts running through my mind, and having the Intellection theme in me, it also took up so much time.
So it wasn’t surprising when I began to see things falling through the cracks. They do. And it really sucked. And it also helps that people start pointing them out (no sarcasm there – that’s a good, albeit painful thing).
So right now I feel like a swimmer with a cramp in the middle of the sea – floundering to keep afloat.
I was taught several valuable lessons in trying to juggle all of these things all at once. They weren’t pretty, and they needed work in themselves; but though pruning is always a painful process, the growth that yields from it is drastic.
Because you are only one; pick only the most important ones.
I’m not at all very capable; but when I am tasked, I have the (un)fortunate knack of shrugging off everything else and just doing what needs to be done. It sounds pretty, but when you’re trying to deal with everything and missing the priorities, then there’s a problem.
I got angry with my sister for being less than understanding about a deal we had; I felt like, as a sister, she could’ve given me more grace. But the fact is, I had a deal with my sister which she intends for me to honor, and I didn’t. Because she IS my sister, and my family is ALWAYS the priority, I SHOULD have put her first on the growing laundry list of things.
Are you always fighting battles left and right, with no clear sense of purpose or hierarchy? Let me tell you now, PAUSE, re-evaluate, re-calibrate. Don’t make the seemingly noble task of putting every single thing as first priority – there is no such thing. You’ll wear yourself out for spreading yourself far too thin.
Because you are enough; don’t look at those ‘others’.
I love operating on my strengths. It’s not because I am completely good at some things; but the gifts God placed in me gives me the confidence that His stamp of approval on a certain thing works for me.
What I do have to be freed of, is looking over my shoulder at the others.
It’s not unusual to see somebody particularly talented on something that you’re just…not. This is me and dancing. I can’t, for the life of me, memorize any dance steps to a tee – it’s like my brain is not wired for or short-circuited somewhere on the brain-eye-hand coordination (I could say the same thing about volleyball). Even if I live to be a hundred, and practice one song until then, I doubt that I could ever be as good as natural dancers.
If it doesn’t work for you, and you need it, camp on the help of that certain person who does have that talent. Don’t try and imitate talent. It shows. And it undermines the fact that you are, indeed, limitless in the gift that God has entrusted to you.
Because you won’t always be here; hold things loosely.
You WON’T live to be a hundred; so it is best to hold things like they’re precious and delicate but that you are ready to put them down the moment God calls you to hold on something else. Picking your battles, after much consideration, there should be some things that you can leave to this season in order to grow others for the next.
I have a niece who is eleven years old; she wasn’t always this big, and she used to wipe her mouth on her shirt. Now she’s a lady, reading novels for sixteen year-olds on dystopia themes.
If I had held on to her baby behavior tightly, then I would expect to have a tall girl wiping her face on her shirt speaking in gibberish! Instead, because she has grown, it makes me treasure all those moments where in she wasn’t a mature thirteen year-old kid. Her non-growth would have been unusual.
It’s the same with seasons; and as much as I have embraced this season, there are elements from the past that I make tough decisions for. There’s always a reminder to hold things loosely.
Wherever this might take me, I have these three things to guide me along. God never wants us to spend so much energy on fruitless things; even if they were good things.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: