A good friend totally sold me on the idea. I bought it hook, line, and sinker: I had not used a paper planner for at least three years, but I would “love” this, cool new planner.
The new paper planner had a place to list goals: 1 year; 5 years; 10 years out. It had a great system for tracking those goals, week by week. And there was a very cool fox logo, on the sleek leather cover.
The thing is, I bought the planner in a season of life when I was juggling a lot of plates… on a unicycle… on a windy day. In order to leave my online planner and calendar behind, and become a “paper planner” person, I would have had to halt and completely reorganize, when it was not practical to do that.
There are times, every year, when we step back, evaluate, and try for new goals; new ideas; bigger, better things. And that’s a very, very good thing.
But I bet you noticed this, too: When real life hits, a lot of those goals go away. Sometimes, that’s because they were bad ideas, and impractical; sometimes, it’s because we’re not willing to sacrifice and self-discipline.
Real life has hit us in a big, big way, in this pandemic. This may seem like an excellent time to aim for some big goals: a new diet; a new exercise regimen; three crafts a day for the kiddos; a new board game every night!
But here’s what we’ve found: My wife and I feel busier than we were before the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m on way more Zoom meetings for church; more FaceTime with family; sharing the Jack-Jack toddler duties, etc.. Multiply that “busy” by 4 people, and you get what can feel like a buzzing beehive, instead of a home.
“So, no new things, James? What are you saying?”
This is a time for new things, but here’s the tightrope we’re all walking:
- You’re __________________ (Insert Name Here), Not a Time Lord. A Time Lord is a mythical character from the famous T.V. series, “Dr. Who”: They can travel through time; 750 years old is middle-aged; and, they can step outside of time, and see the history of the world, as a whole. Yeah, not you, and not me. If you made it this far, that’s about 5 minutes of your day (Thank You!). 6:00pm, dinner, and down time is coming, and those 30 things you thought you could fit into today, will have to wait until tomorrow. Mom and Dad were right: “There only so many hours in the day, and they’re counted in seconds and minutes.” I can’t make those seconds and minutes longer than they are, and neither can you.
- The New Thing You Want to Do Is Waiting For You – Let It Wait, and Enjoy It More. I believe this is a time to try new things, especially as a family. Begin with prayer. Then choose a few, essential, new things to do, and plan in terms of days and weeks – not every minute, of every hour, of every day. Try this, instead: Friday night: Netflix; Saturday night: Board game; Sunday night: FaceTime with family; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings: The 30 minute walk you hope will build into training for your first 5k, and so on. You get the point: Try to cram the few, good things you’ve decided to invest in, into every day, and trust me – you will not do them, or they will seem like a To Do list, instead of a new path, into a new life.
Want to make it across this tightope? Set aside Sunday – the Sabbath: God created the Sabbath for us, to worship; rest from our labor; and refocus on him, and his priorities. If you begin with the Sabbath, God will take your hand as you walk across the Monday-to-Saturday tightrope. Then, join us for worship: Facebook | YouTube .
What are you doing to balance the opportunities and the limits of this time together?
I would love to hear from you, in the comments, below.
You can read the first part of “Parenting in a Pandemic”, HERE.
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Please join Foundation Presbyterian Church for our weekly LiveStream opportunities:
- “At Home with the Rev”: 10 minutes at 10am on Wednesdays: We are learning about prayer, for the next few weeks: “What is it? How do we do it?”
- Sunday Worship, 10:30am: 30 minutes.