Ain’t that always the kicker? So many choices, so little time. And yet God only asks us to do our part, not everything under the sun. Everything is in God’s job description, not mine. So which part is mine? That’s the hardest to start with.
On my list of balancing acts, there’s:
- Family time and work time
- Writing time and talking time (and which category does Facebook fall in?)
- Travel time (and money) and office/home time
- Internal work processes and external relationships
- Clearing out old stuff and getting started on new stuff
- Raising money and doing program work
- About twelve different current work projects
- About six new projects I’d like to be doing
I want to be involved in my children’s lives while they are growing up. I want to still be married in 30 years, not just in name but in love. I want to be a woman who still cleans her own bathroom, or at least takes her turn emptying the dishwasher and running the laundry. It is important to me not to get so caught up in the academic and political aspects of my job that I fail to be connected to the real life of people on Earth.
I see more clearly the practical organizational development tasks that need to be done in my office. Not exciting, most of the time, but necessary to build the strong foundation for the organization to thrive. Nothing at crisis level, but they still take more time than you think.
I see the changes taking place in the Religious Society of Friends and I want to ride off in six directions at once. The renewed life of the Spirit among South American Friends. The continuing outpouring of energy and ministry among young adult Friends in many places at once. The re-shuffling of the deck of Midwestern Quaker meetings. The new crop of heads of Quaker organizations.
I want to be up-to-date and informed, I want to have a broad and historical perspective, I want to be involved, I want to be helpful, and darnit, I can’t do everything and be everywhere. Not all at once, even though it feels like everything is happening at once.
I’m praying a lot about this, but at some point I just have to make my own decisions. I believe that God is with me, comforting and guiding and hoping for the best from me, but I don’t really expect the wet fleece/dry fleece kind of signs about any of my decisions. Maybe that’s just a lack of faith on my part? No, I think it’s more to do with God’s faith in me to do the right thing
So what is helping?
Making lists. Seeing that I can fit all the options I’m considering onto one page, even if I have to write small, helps.
Knowing that I can’t do everything at once. Accepting that choices will be made, consciously or sub-consciously, and that it’s better to make them upfront rather than recognize and rue them after the fact, makes it easier to say no sooner.
Taking time out to walk, swim, sleep, laugh and read juvenile fiction are all helpful. I probably haven’t done enough of these in the last month and I’m starting to feel the ill effects of that.
Hearing myself talk helps. Sometimes telling someone else about the options helps me to hear which way I’m leaning.
Asking for advice and input. Many of the choices in my life are not just mine to make. My family has their own opinions. My co-workers have a lot of valuable experience and insight. The huge network of representatives and committee members and friends of FWCC
all have a role to play in our priority setting process.
Asking for help, not just because I need the help, but because other people are yearning to be of service, to carry out the ministry and use the gifts that God has given them. Whether that’s a gift of display making, or accounting, or translation, or money to give away, or committee clerking, the RSoF is richly blessed with people who want to help. A big part of my job will be helping to connect people with their ministries.
So, what do you do when faced with new choices to make and new resources to direct?
How are we, as the Religious Society of Friends, in all our diverse glory and painful divisions, going to make the choices that will affect our future?
Which Bible stories do you find to be the most relevant to all the choices I’m facing? I really need help with that, so if you have suggestions, please leave a comment or contact me one way or another.
Labels: family, FWCC, myjourney