Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the myth of peaceful co-existence

I once ate 3 servings of homemade tapioca pudding followed by a few glasses of fresh apple cider. You can guess what happened next. There are certain combinations of food that do not do well together. Citric acid and milk are one of them. They cannot coexist at the same time in the same place - they are in opposition to each other's purposes, one being a base and the other being an acid. This week I started another French course; it is making a bit of a mess of my normal weekly schedule because I have 4 less hours each day to work with, and the pace at which I used to do things has to change. Yesterday, I was still laundering bedding at midnight. Considering Dean wanted to retire for the night, that was a bit of a problem. French class and laundry cannot co-exist in the same time frame. I must choose where my time will be spent.

Dean and I were talking to someone last night about working balance and priorities into life. Let me paraphrase some things that were said: If we do not now develop and practically make time for the things that are of importance to us, those things we say we want to see grow in our lives, we probably never will. Something will always come along to push it out if we do not make it an immovable part of our schedule, an integral part of our life.

If we say building a loving and functioning community and growing spiritually are something we really want in our lives, how much time and energy are we actually setting aside for that? Or do we let everything else in life, demands like work and fun things like friends and leisure time crowd out the very things we say we hold as a priority? Who gets the best of our time and resources? Who gets the leftovers? The answers to these questions are very important.

We must change whatever we need to about our lives in order to build the things we really want to see flourishing there. Busy work and school schedules, extra-curricular activities and multitudes of friends who want to hang out and party will probably not co-exist well with a desire to grow and serve as part of a vibrant spiritual community. You will not have energy for both. I must choose who gets the choicest cuts of my life.

To my disappointment, I currently see a lack of people who desire to be spiritual leaders, who challenge themselves and others to live more than a passive and comfortable and good life, who discipline their souls to regularly turn towards God and let his love change them, rearrange them, and ruin them for ordinary things. One cannot obtain a blazing passion for God without fueling it regularly. One will always be floundering for direction and purpose in life unless one determines to wait on God, to obey him in the hard things, to embrace the sacrifice of self-fulfillment, and learn the way of love by serving in a community setting.

This is a harmonious, co-existence of pillows on my bed, all for the purpose of rest.


steven hamilton said...

ouch...that tapioca combo sounds painful...

this reminds of of voltaire:

"The best is the enemy of the good."

or actually many people turn it around:

"The good is the enemy of the best."

but that is easy to say...the hard work, at least for me, is the discerning of what is the good anf what is the best...or what is the busy (that eventually needs attending to) and what is important...

thanks for stirring the thoughts for me...


Shelley said...

it is tough to admit that we cannot do everything and do it well...the myth of multi-tasking or supermom or something like that. I hate looking at how I spend my time and my priorities...for fear I will have to cut out something I love. I am probably missing out on developing something I love living randomly. In truth I don't succeed at doing anything without scheduling it in to my life. And I hate following a schedule. I guess I am a walking oxy moron. lol.