Tuesday I had one of the most popular blog posts on the J-Blog in a long time. Was it about Christian faith? No. How about politics? Nope. Even something like the Penguins or cycling? No way. What topic gathered the collective imagination of the J-Blog readers?
I've debated just continuing a series on office supplies. Perhaps a post or two about my favorite type of copy paper? A lengthy discussion on why I really want the red stapler from office space, but am thus far unwilling to drop $30 to buy it? How to best organize a collection of glue sticks? But instead, I celebrated unprecedented success by forgetting to post and losing all momentum. Seems just about as right.
(To try to keep myself at least a little bit accountable to the post every day challenge, I'll have two posts for you today. Try to contain yourself!)
Actually, I didn't at all forget to post yesterday. It was simply the latest casualty in a crazy busy week. There have been meetings each and every night this week, Monday through Thursday (thank goodness tomorrow I might actually get to sit on the couch and veg out. During the day there have been more than a couple of lunch meetings, lesson plans to write, proposals to submit, videos to edit, and dreams to dream. It's been a crazy crazy busy week.
But I want to say two things about that, particularly for those who are in ministry but I think it's a good word for all of us:
1) Even though I've been crazy busy, and it has left me extremely tired, it has all been extremely good work. I think there have been seasons in my life where I have been working like crazy, and wondered whether the work I was doing mattered at all. Those weeks will steal your soul friend. Spending all your time and energy on something that might not matter in the end feels like running on a treadmill, lots of energy and no progress.
So when I saw this week being as busy as it was going to be, I asked myself around every meeting and every project whether I thought this was a valuable use of my time. Is this something that needs to be done, or is this something I feel others want me to do? Those are two different things by the by. Doing that quick inventory at the beginning of the week helps me remember even when things get a little crazy that I am doing something valuable. I'm doing something life giving. I'm giving my energy to something that's worth it.
2) That doesn't mean that I can rev my engines all the time at their highest level. I used to live like that in ministry. What difference does it make if I'm awake at the end of the night, right? But then I got married, and it turns out that my sweet Sarah actually enjoys spending time with me. Also, about a year ago, a couple things contributed to a change in that attitude in my life:
After last week being in Nashville, I didn't want to have two whole weeks go by without seeing my sweet dudes. They're starting to do awesome stuff these days, learning to climb on things and finding their way to a few words and laughing uncontrollably at Disney Channel shows. I don't want to miss any of that.
So this week especially, I've been using a little trick called the rule of thirds. I divide my day into morning, evening, and night. Then each day, I'll only let myself work 2/3 of the day. If I have an evening meeting, maybe I'll take the morning off. Or maybe I'll skip out of the office after lunch for a quick round of Daniel Tiger. I know people that live every week like this, and I don't know if that always matches the reality of my schedule. But it's a pretty good reality when things get crazy busy.
So my encouragement this week friends, is that we would be careful with our time. Make sure you're not spending it on things that aren't valuable, on things that don't matter. Make sure you're setting aside enough of it to take care of those who love you. Yes, by all means, work hard. But make sure there's something left of you when you do.
More this afternoon.