I remember the first time I saw that quote. Somebody–can’t remember who–posted it on Facebook. But what I do remember, is how it cut me right to the core.
Why? Well, I’m sure you can guess.
I’ve been much TOO busy lately.
Summer was chaotic, or at least it felt that way. It seemed as though I was constantly putting out fires or spinning plates or whatever analogy works here. I kept thinking, “Okay, but after ______ is all done, I’ll be able to relax and work on some fun projects, organize my time, and get my life in order!”
That time never came.
Or if it did, I was too exhausted to notice it.
Now couple that busyness with this confession:
I stink at remembering to pray and read scripture. <guilty face>
As I was driving around town dropping off some kid to some thing this week, I pondered how sad it is that I am so prone to just let those VERY important things just drop out of the picture. I know we all struggle with eliminating bad habits and maintaining good ones; but these habits just seem especially hard for me to nurture. And yet, they are so very vital to my happiness.
And as I pondered this neglect, a song popped into my head.
“My Goodness” by The Belle Brigade
Now, I have no idea what the artist’s thought process was in writing this song. I just know that, in that moment, the verses seemed particularly meaningful to me. For my purposes, let’s just say that “my goodness” and “my love” have to do with my spiritual well-being and my relationship with deity.
My goodness is a tumbleweed, blowing away from me
I neglected the garden, it wilted and it hardened
Like a lifeless bouquet I let it blow away
My love is a broken wing
And it doesn’t beat
I neglected the arrow that tore into the marrow
In a feather cascade I let it blow away
Wow. Seems really depressing, huh?
But my point is, I have been negligent. And the result is….well….a wilted spiritual garden that yields no fruit. A broken wing that makes it hard to soar above problems.
And all this frustration, stress, anxiety, irritability.
Because I tried to do it all backwards.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
I didn’t put first things first. I did it out of order.
You’ve seen it. We all have. That object lesson with the rocks, pebbles, and sand. It’s been done to death but that’s because it’s just so dang applicable. And just in case you are the one person on earth who doesn’t know what I’m talking about….
I’ve been pouring sand into my jar first, stuffing a few pebbles in, and shrugging my shoulders that the rocks didn’t fit. “Oh well,” I said. “Maybe there’ll be room for them tomorrow.”
Problem is, tomorrow is a really bad day to work on good habits because it’s always in the future. It’s never in the present.
Now, as much as I’d love to say, “And now to tell you all about how I slayed the busyness monster and reclaimed my spiritual life”…well…I’m just not there.
I’m in the awareness phase. The phase where you realize your awful situation and are, well, kinda stymied as to how you got yourself there and why you struggle so much! But it’s a good phase because it’s a beginning.
Or can be, if you take action from awareness.
So, this is me. Moving from awareness to action.
So while you wait for me to start that post–you know, the “And now to tell you all about how I slayed…” post–how about we both watch this epic General Conference address by Elder Oaks and start figuring out how to stop just being busy and how to sift through the GOODS and BETTERS to make sure we are doing the BESTS first.
Because really, I just don’t want to be THAT busy.