I was on a much needed vacation last week. After I got off work on Friday night I left with my parents to spend a few days in Gatlinburg. My sister, brother-in-law and niece were already there when we arrived. We stayed in a lovely condo and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves…then I came back home and attempted to be as lazy as humanly possible.
I didn’t mean to take a vacation from blogging – it just worked out that way. It doesn’t mean my mind wasn’t pondering over a topic, because it was. A lot.
To be honest, the idea came from Twitter – to live a deliberate life. I started thinking about it…and I don’t live a deliberate life – I live a life of reaction. I generally only take on what is presented to me. I spend 40 hours a week working because that’s what my schedule says to do, I attend church because there are set times for it, and I attend school on the nights they tell me to be there. It’s all a reaction.
The question is – what do I want from those things? What sort of worker do I want to be, what sort of spiritual life do I want, what sort of student do I want to be? I can live a life of reaction and float through work, church, and school…never doing anything extraordinary, but being consistent. Or…do I want extraordinary? I have to be deliberate if I want to rise above where I am.
I can just show up to work at 7:30AM barely awake and in desperate need of coffee (though I’ve been very guilty of this) or I can show up at 7:30AM ready to meet the day (though probably still needing coffee) and actually work while I’m at work. I’m a bank teller and it’s extremely easy to sit back and wait for the customer to come to me and just surf the internet in between. That’s working by reaction and it’s exactly how some of my coworkers operate. We’re often not seeking out things that need to be done. I need to work deliberately. This is an area I’ve already been working on, so while I’m always in need of improvement – I do feel I’ve made enormous strides in this area. But what about the other areas?
Church…here’s a big one. I can show up to church 3 times a week plus prayer meeting, teach Sunday School when it’s my turn, help the youth with a dinner, sweep the floors, take out trash, and people will say “She’s so helpful and consistent.” That’s all just a reaction. I’m preaching to myself right here, because it’s where I need to make the most effort to stop going on reactions and be deliberate. I know that I’m living below my spiritual potential. I need to make a decision of who I’m going to be – am I going to be a consistent church-goer or am I really going to tap into God? I know we’re supposed to pray and fast. I attempted to fast last week and made it until noon. Before that – I can’t remember the last time I fasted. I read my bible sporadically…probably a few days a week I manage to pull it out and I breathe prayers throughout my day. My prayers are probably the equivalent of texting someone and never having a real conversation with them. I need to be deliberate. Decide who I want to be and go get it.
School – I’m not the best student. It’s because I procrastinate big time. I want to be a good student – I want to make all A’s. So what’s stopping me? Me. I’m stopping me. Because every single day I don’t deliberately make a point to see what’s coming up and see what assignments I can work on. Instead, I come home get online for a while (the ultimate time-killer known as Facebook) then I make dinner, watch a bit of TV, get online again…and then it’s time for bed.
Why am I allowing myself to waste so much time? I’m allowing myself to live so far below my potential that it’s pathetic. It’s time to stop living a life of reaction and live deliberately. I can be a great worker, I can be far more in touch with God than I am now, I can be a straight A student. I always say I wish I was in shape, I want to be a runner, but I never get up to do it and yet it’s all within my reach – I just have to do it.
Why does that seem so hard?
“Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you an control the process of choosing you can take control of all aspect of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.” -Robert F. Bennett