I have always prided myself on being a productive multi-tasker. In high school, I used to have a sign on my door "Do It." This was WAY before Nike's 1988 "Just do it" campaign. I was so ahead of them. I could list all of my accomplishments and loved doing resumes - and loved going over these things, feeling very good.
Now, after months of a schedule and list of accomplishments decidely toned down, I have done some re-thinking on the whole meaning of being hyper-active, hyper-productive, I have asked myself, is this a good thing?
What has been good is that I am learning more about God's grace and accepting that good is always happening. My priorities are shifting more toward time in prayer, to understand God and the grand scheme of things and to love family and friends and take time to do these things. This echoes the answer Jill Carroll gave when asked the question about what she found as most important in her life after her experience being kidnapped. "It becomes incredibly clear.... I wish I had spent more time with my family."
Bible commentary from Interpreter's One Volume Commentary of the Bible, discusses our inheritance of God's goodness and accepting this inheritance -- by explaining Galatians 4: 1- 7. Our inheritance gives us:
- "freedom from the self defeating struggle for status before God,
- from enslaving preoccupation with one's own worthiness;
- and freedom for the full attainment of one's true maturity as an heir of God's promises."
The downside of list-loving is that I felt restless in quiet times. Restlessness is not a quality of God. I saw that while many of the things I have done felt good, freeing and helpful, I also recognized that to NOT be doing something made me feel anxious as if there was some deep-seated anxiety that said deep down I was lazy. I also saw that one of my motives for always being active and "doing things" was to run away from the fear that I might truly be a genuinely lazy person!
I am not quite sure how I let this idea grow in my thought. But now that I recognized it, I could expose it and let it dissolve.
First, I knew I was not made of lazy stuff. As I am a child of God, I reflect God, good - defined in part as omni-action and omni-present.
Second, I realized that I am not being chased by a false claim of being lazy. My motive for all my actions increasingly are to glorify God, not to run away from this baseless claim.
Third, I asked forgiveness that I could ever see anyone as lazy, including myself, and not as the child of God.
Fourth, I understood that all purposeful and effective action stems from God. In Science and Health, the definition of Day indicates that time is measured according to the good unfolded. Any action that has any substance comes from God and God maintains and sustains His actions. I can ride on His coattails, so to speak -- accept His graceful way of accomplishing all those things that are needed and that bless others.
Fifth - I understood that right activity reflects the even flow, consistent energy and calm balance of its Creator.
And finally, I could accept God's grace.
Activity goes on constantly. It is not ME that makes things happen. I only open my thought to recognize that all good comes from God. It is divine Love that always has met, always is meeting and always will meet every human need. This is accepting God's grace.
Hard-working is good. It is striving that gets us moving. But over-achieving? Impossible when our actions are fluid reflections of doing God's work.
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