You know those people who after about a week of vacation say, "This as nice but I'm ready to head back home and get back to work"? I'm not one of them. I could be on vacation for a whole year and still not be tired of it. I LIKE lazing around and having fun. My husband is the opposite - too much relaxation and he starts to get twitchy.
The truth is I am, by nature, inclined to be lazy. On my best days, I am a slow mover. I am not a morning person, so as much as I wish I could leap out of bed and hit the ground running, it just doesn't happen. I get out of bed, but it is more of creaking to an upright position and then shuffling down the hallway - especially when it is cold out!
Of course, as a wife, a mom, plus the other things I do, I can't laze around all day. I have to get things done. So, I have at to-do list. If I didn't have a list of things I needed to get done each day, I'd probably wander around in circles and putter my day away, not getting anything accomplished.
Maybe this is why I always seem to feel slightly guilty - like I am never doing enough or doing it fast enough. Almost every day I think "I should have gotten up earlier," or "I should be going faster than this or have more done by now!"
God is teaching me though that my pace is okay. It's okay not to be speedy gonzales or the energizer bunny. Slow and steady does win the race - eventually.
This week, my Bible study characteristic is patience. You may be wondering how my guilt complex over not doing enough or doing it fast enough ties in to patience. Here's how - today's lesson was about patience with other people.
At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I am usually pretty patient with people. Normally, I am not one to be easily offended. I don't automatically assume that the person with foot in mouth disease is intentionlly trying to hurt my feelings. Even if it does seem intentional, I really do try to understand WHY the person is acting or speaking that way. It is the way I have compassion and can then be gracious.
Not that I am perfect. I can certainly get angry with people and I can hold a grudge - particularly if you hurt one of my loved ones. And don't even think about messing with my kids! lol But overall, patience with people is not usually something I struggle with.
EXCEPT in two incidences - when I am completely hormonal (better known as pms) or if I am super stressed because I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list. The first, I just know that my feelings are hormonally induced so I just try to not talk that day or two! lol
But the other, I have control over. Generally speaking, the actual things I absolutely have to do are not all that overwhelming. BUT, the pressure I put on myself to do this and that and the other, can make me into a frazzled mess. Not to mention, my bad habit of procrastinating until it DOES become a time crunch, thus making me stressed out. This makes me much more likely to be impatient with someone and snap at them, or worse, just not want to have to deal with them at all. Not a very loving attitude is it?
I would love to say that I love others so much that my list of to-dos takes a backseat when I see someone in need, but that's just not true. Too often, I sigh to myself and feel resentful or annoyed that someone is taking up my valuable time when I have things to do! But if you look at Jesus in the Gospels, He always had time for people. And let's face it, if anyone had a short time table, it was Jesus. Just three years for His earthly ministry, but you never see Him portrayed as frantically rushing anywhere.
I want to be like that - gracious and kind; not frazzled and irritable. But to do that, I need to do two things - take a close look at how I AM spending my time and then ditch the false guilt. As I said, my natural inclination is to putter and procrastinate, and laziness is not too much of a stretch for me. So, I need to look at how I am spending my time to see if I am using it wisely. If I am, then I need to get rid of that guilty sense of "do more and do it faster." Satan would love for me to always feels so frazzled that I never have time for anyone or anything BUT my to-do list.
But God has a different plan. After all, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." I Cor. 14:33 Together, God and I are finding my stride - productive but not stressed out so I can be gracious to those around me.
~ Blessings, Bronte