Monday, April 18, 2011

Life is not a check list...

I find it interesting how natural it is for me to unconsciously organize my day into a list of tasks to be completed and checked off.

6:30 AM - Wake up
7:15 AM - Go to middle school
9:05 AM - Environmental Hydrology
11:30 AM - Lunch
1:25 PM - Remote Sensing and GPS
2:30 PM - Ecological Sustainability
6:00 PM - Dinner

It's almost sad how easy it is for me to think through my day when I wake up, develop the list I need to do, and then begin working--one item at a time--until the list is done.

I don't think this is how it's supposed to be. I don't think life should be a check list.

I had a conversation recently about using a planner. As my friend mentioned that she couldn't live without a planner, I pridefully thought to myself, "I don't need a planner, I got all that up in my head."

I don't think there's anything wrong with using a planner. As a matter of fact, I don't think there's anything wrong with having a list of daily tasks. The problem enters when we no longer see individual tasks or events as what they really are--we instead see them as the next thing to do, the next thing to check off.

This is what I really struggle with. On my busiest days, I lie in bed just before getting on with the day and think through each event that is going to happen. I give myself time-frames to work in and I begin my day not focused on what I'm currently doing, but on what is next. How quickly can I finish what I'm on to get to what is next?

This, to me, is the tragedy.

I think it's good to have a vision of the future. Running blindly leads us into walls (figuratively and literally). I think it's good to have a plan. I think it's smart to be organized. Failing to plan is planning to fail as I've often heard. However, the key is this: how do I view my plan?

Do I view it as concrete? Do I view it as absolute? Do I view the individual tasks as check boxes? Do I focus more on the "next" than on the "current"?

I am trying to make a point of not viewing the things I have to do as things I have to do but as things I get to do. Every day is a gift, a new opportunity to serve the Lord. If this is the case, shouldn't I view everything I do as just that--a gift, an opportunity?


I've been praying to focus more on where I am rather than where I am going. I don't want to miss this. I recently had the opportunity to hear a friend share about her four years of school. She shared (paraphrased), "I was so caught up in feeling like I was missing out that I was missing out on what I was doing."

I don't have a lot of time left here at JMU. I want everything I do to be as special as if it were a gift... because, that's what it really is.

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