Monday, June 20, 2011

Time to Get Better

Can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. Admittedly, I say that way too much. I guess it's just the crazy rhythms of life, and no matter how much I attempt to become a more regular blogger, I can't seem to make it happen.

At any rate, I thought I'd share a few of my most recent realizations/revelations over the last month or so.

First of all, I got sick a little over a week ago. It happened just in time for the beginning of my jam-packed summer tour. And it just so happened that my first weeks were filled with lots of travel. I'm pretty sure many of the people behind me on the road thought I was a drunk driver, because let's just say, that blowing your nose while on the road does not make it all that easy to keep a straight course. I have blown through lots of boxes of tissue, and am still at it, but thankfully, have managed to have the strength and stamina needed for each of my shows.

But praise the Lord, I managed to get the worst part of the sickness, (the first few days when my head was throbbing and my body achy and exhausted) over with before I had to hit the road. It's funny though because when you are sick, you tend to evaluate things differently.

On any regular day where I have my health, I'm pretty absorbed by productivity. Is the kitchen clean? The laundry done? Have I responded to those emails? Made those phone calls? Did I get my run or other exercise in for the day? Have I made dinner? Drummed up some new business? Worked on a new show? Edited a few pages in my existing book or written a few lines for my new one? If the answer is no to more than a few of those questions, then, well, I would probably tend to consider it an unproductive day, and I'd probably be frustrated with myself.

But when I'm sick, I could care less about most of these things. All that matters is getting well. And if I have to lay in a bed sleeping and watching TV all day (something I NEVER do), then so be it! It has to be done so I can get better.

Somewhere while I was laying in that bed trying to recover, feeling free from so much of the guilt that would normally plague me at not having accomplished what I think I should have for the day, I think I learned a very spiritual lesson. It occurred to me that maybe that what God requires of me on a daily basis is not productivity so much as getting better -- daily trying to become better, not in a physical sense but a spiritual one. And the only way that can happen is through getting closer to God and becoming more like Him.

It's easy to do a lot of things and think I am being productive, but maybe I'm just fooling myself. Maybe I'm not getting anywhere nearer to my goal of being conformed to the likeness of Christ, maybe I'm just "doing stuff." Maybe I need to stop, and let the dishes sit in the sink and the emails get behind a day or two, so I can be in His presence and just allow my time with Him to make me better.

I have always seen my times of sickness as God's way of telling me to slow down. But once I've slowed down and recovered, it's easy to just pick up where I left off and speed up again. I've got a jam-packed summer, and yet somewhere in the middle of that, I'm trying to avoid that temptation to make productivity my goal. Life is certainly about more than my to-do list, but sometimes it takes something to slow you down to remind you of that.

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