I wrote a post last year about how busy I was and I almost want to laugh at how I thought I was busy. And I’m sure I’ll laugh at this post too, eventually, but for now, let’s just say I’m a lot busier than I was last year. It’s difficult because I love all of the things I do. Wednesdays are a perfect example of that. I start off my day playing music in Jazz Band and continue on to my academic day dense with learning (which I love). Then comes soccer, which is full of some of my favorite people and my definite favorite sport. After soccer, the high school group comes over to my house for a weekly event called Hangtime. I’m exercising every aspect of my life: physical, mental, and spiritual. In theory, these should be my favorite days! However, what usually ends up happening is dreading the day and wishing it’s over as soon as it starts.
I was discussing this predicament the other day with a mentor of mine, and she advised me to eliminate something from my schedule. But when you (theoretically) love each of the things you do, it’s quite hard to do that. In fact, when I looked at the activities that I do, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to remove. A different friend actually came up to me today and commented on how impressed they were at how I have so many activities and asked me how I do it. I didn’t know what to say because I don’t even know how or why I do all the things I do.
So I decided to figure out why. Starting with the beginning of my day and going forward, I went through and embarked on a quest to figure out why I do each activity. I’ll spare you the long list of my motivations, but it turns out I have a big ego. At first, I came up with a list of reasons that was very surface-y and anyone who didn’t know me would totally buy. Oh yeah, I totally do Advanced Jazz Band because I want to become a better musician. Though this is partly true, when I looked deeper down, the main reason I’m still there (and waking up at 6 every morning instead of 7:30) is because I like to say I’m good enough at trombone to be in a class with juniors and seniors. Yes, being there will improve my skill most definitely, but my pride would hurt the most by leaving because it would mean I’m not good enough.
Upon discovering this, I made a list of priorities. The goal was to eliminate anything that was not a priority. So far, it’s been working. For instance, I was asked to join the yearbook club today. “We only meet on Tuesdays at lunch!” Tempting. I bet I could fit that in, right? I could sacrifice one lunch a week to help put together the yearbook. But wait, I had to remind myself. First of all, that would take away from one of my big priorities: friends. With so many after school activities, it becomes hard to be with friends outside of school and that half hour every day becomes valuable time to be with friends, not to mention that two of my lunch periods throughout the week are already taken up for band sectionals.
I’ve been learning that in living for Christ, I don’t have to serve everywhere. Most importantly, I’m allowed to say no. This is going to be a life-long battle, I’m sure. Being the people-pleaser I am, I make it my job make sure everyone is happy. That one friend that texts me asking what the homework is that we had a week to complete and is due tomorrow? I don’t have to make her grades my responsibility. I want so badly to just solve everyone’s problems. It turns out that when I focus on solving everyone else’s life, I don’t shine any light into my own life. I don’t pay attention to my walk with God. I’ll do the Christian routine; read my bible, pray (I’ll even be super spiritual and pray for the kids in Africa. Bonus points to me!), attend church and church-related activities, and move on with my life. But in my busy life, how could I possibly find time to evaluate my spiritual health?
And when I finally get around to deciphering my relationship with God, I find that I’m unhappy. I go from every angle and try and find out what I could be doing better, and as it turns out, that’s my problem! I talked about this in my last post, but there’s no way I can have a Christ-centered life if I’m not actually focusing on Christ. It seems pretty obvious, but boy is it difficult to live out.
Back to my main point: being busy. My entire life can very quickly become a list of things to do, as opposed to many activities and moments to be present in. As I was reading that post about being busy that I wrote a year ago, I was reminded that I really need to slow down and thank God for all that I am able to do. Here’s a line from that blog
I have the opportunity to display, in my words and actions, the gospel.
I have been equipped with all the tools to accomplish this, yet I so often fail to remember that I even have this incredible purpose! God has placed me where he needs me and I get to be on mission while playing in jazz band, going to soccer practice, and being around my friends. I have now made it my top priority to regularly evaluate how I’m doing with God. The rest will follow; active prayer, living intentionally, etc.
Anyways, those have just been my thoughts the last few days. Hope you’re having a marvelous week!