Somewhere along the way, I’ve become task-oriented. I have always appreciated hard work and the ability to crash asleep from a day’s accomplishments. I’ve always enjoyed pushing myself beyond even my own boundary of capabilities; to know that I did something I didn’t know was possible.
In spite of these qualities, I was not always task-oriented. I love people by nature and could easily pine away an afternoon at a coffee shop or bookstore with a dear friend. And I’d ask if they’d like to meet there again tomorrow.
Goodness, I could pine away that same afternoon quite contentedly by myself, enjoying my own solitude with my calligraphy pen or banjo. Even at the bookstore, I enjoy the alone-time. Perhaps it would be an adventure; a conversation with a stranger or perhaps I’d witness an event in the peripheral that I’d otherwise miss—like that young couple falling in love but not admitting it yet, or that creative little girl trying to win her mother over to her brilliant idea of giving her what she wants. Yes, I people watch. Even more than these, a rainy afternoon calls my name; the book and tea await my arrival.
I still love every one of these things. But along with these things, I now find that my “To Accomplish” list (doesn’t that sound better than “to-do”?) grows longer with every checked item. I think chores breed chores. The list within itself can contain a certain drudgery—as the rainy afternoons mount this time of year and the Book List grows with every radio program interview I overhear.
But yet the items on the list itself…these give me great joy. After all, would they find their way to my list if there was not some merit to be gained? My list today is no shorter than usual—zucchini must be processed, and so must the pears and apples.
A dear friend gave me a precious bag of elderberries yesterday—I must start the tincture so it will be ready before the flu season comes! The mending in the corner is nearly toppling. What of my son’s homeschooling curriculum—school is approaching and I haven’t yet decided our year!
Do they bring stress? The stress is found within the urgency and the notion of prioritizing them, yes. But knowing that I’m working for my family, that I’m modeling self sufficiency for my children, that I’m teaching basic life skills, that I’m encouraging an emphasis on family life and charity—these are my big picture. Above all of this,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
(Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)
I just wanted to pop this quick reminder your way…remember the big picture today!