My computer died this week. Let us take a moment of silence to remember its overall faithful and productive service, and even though its last month was fraught with difficulties and illness, I speak no curse words against it. It was simply finished. Sigh.
Today I have been wondering what the difference is between an excuse and a legitimate reason or cause. Is anything that stands in the way of accomplishing something good and honourable an excuse? Should you always find a way to overcome whatever obstacles there are? My computer was ill and I spent days trying to nurse it back to health all to no avail, but really, I could have made time last week to write something on this blog - we have a work computer I can access (and I am doing so right now) so was the computer acting up an excuse for not writing, or a legitimate reason? As I have been mulling this over today, this is what I have come up with. Feel free to add your insights if you like.
1. Priorities: I guess it comes down to this in many ways. Today I have an upcoming trip to organise, laundry to do, cleaning to finish, emails to answer, plants to water, yardwork waiting for me, some office admin stuff, cats that need a nail trim BADLY, and preparations to complete for guests coming tonight. But I decided that I would start the day by doing my workout (it keeps me healthy and gives me stamina), reading my Bible (I always need God's perspective on things), taking a walk to get the mail (this is also my 'talk to God' time), and writing something here before I tackled all those other "must get to" tasks. I am trying to develop habits that over the long term will produce good things in my life. Some days I get it right...other times I don't and perhaps feel that I need to respond to a certain pressure to look like I have accomplished something short-term or made some tangible or monetary difference. Things tangible and monetary should be the by-products of a fruitful life, but in my opinion, are not worth putting in my immediate priority list.
2. Comfort: This is in direct opposition to faith, I think, and I have a lot to learn in this area. Too often I am passive and do not exert concerted and extravagant effort into overcoming obstacles. I am a whiz at being able to take circumstances and make do with whatever comes my way without much frustration whatever, and that is a good quality trait - being extremely adaptable and quick to use whatever is at hand. But I lack the drive and ambition that entrepreneurs and great leaders have. Am I making an excuse by saying...I am just not built that way? Or do I lack discipline and drive to see something through to the end no matter what comes my way? In reality, I think I lack the ability to know the difference between what is worth pursuing with that type of intensity and what is not. Plus, I will admit I do not have certain confidence to believe that my goals are worth pursuing with that kind of energy.
3. Pride: I hate to be wrong and thought of as stupid and a failure and not likeable and I hate being disappointed and waiting for something that never happens and making promises that I don't know if I can keep and I don't like something that requires all of me - I like to keep a little for myself; I like to be secure and safe and successful and warm and certain that I will have enough to eat today and I hate feeling hungry and empty and tired and sick and unimportant and unnecessary and I hate being ignored more than anything else because I like attention and being loved.
Those are my excuses and today I will try to live by faith instead of these weak props. As I have said to others before and my friend reminded me again today...we are responsible for our own maturity and growth. What is keeping me from progressing today? I must cut it out of my life without mercy.