The view from…
In case y’all don’t already know it – I can sometimes be a bit of a rebel. I’m one of those strong-willed people that Cynthia Tobias writes about who sometimes think that rules are for stupid people who don’t know what to do and are therefore in need of rules. That’s not true, of course, but it is sometimes what strong-willed people like me think.
I’m quietly strong-willed. I don’t have temper tantrums or demand my way – I just simply go about doing things the way I think they ought to be done. I almost never follow a recipe exactly and I often don’t read manuals, which means that I frequently learn things the hard way. Is it any wonder that I’ve never been able to sew anything without ripping out at least one seam?
Y’all are all extra-ordinary and can tell me what to do all you want, but I don’t care much for ordinary people like me telling me what to do. I don’t even care much for me telling me what to do – which is why I have resisted even my own discipline. Pathetic, I know.
God’s discipline is another matter altogether…
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
I’d be stupid to not welcome and respond to God’s discipline…so I listened intently when He spoke to me about my time. I prayed and studied…and I responded by creating a schedule for each day of the week (except Sunday) that would help me be more disciplined that I might accomplish the tasks that I believe are most important every single day.
As I wrote yesterday, that prayed-over schedule was sabotaged from day one. Long story – but it involves among other things a pack of strange dogs, a sick grand-baby and a trip to the out of town pediatrician’s office, a promise to take an elderly friend for physical therapy that I had forgotten about, a board meeting I had failed to put on my calendar, the flu, and a possible broken finger (mine).
Remember how I don’t read manuals? For multiple reasons, I needed to wash Gavin’s car seat cover after the trip to the doctor on Friday, so Saturday morning I removed all the straps and hardware from the car seat so I could remove the cover and wash it. When I put the clean cover back on the car seat, I relied on my memory (not smart) to put the pieces back together.
You probably know where this is going. I suspected Monday evening that I was coming down with the same flu bug Gavin had, but proceeded to clean house Tuesday morning for my elderly friend before picking Gavin up from preschool before lunch. By the time I picked up Gavin, I was beginning to feel quite sick, but knew Emily would be at home to help me if I could just get Gavin home. As Gavin and I raced down the walk from the school to my car (it’s a sure-fire way of getting him to go straight to the car), I hit my hand on the railing.
You know how something hurts so bad you want to throw up? With beads of sweat on my forehead and blood dripping from my finger, I attempted to strap Gavin into the car seat only to discover that none of the clips would click into place because I had put them on the wrong straps. Have you ever tried to disassemble and reassemble a car seat with a sore throat, cough, fever and chills and an injured finger while a very busy two year old roams the inside of your car?
The good news is that Gavin took a 3-hour nap after I finally got his car seat back together and we drove home. After a miserable night of more fever and chills, my sore throat and the nausea is gone and though I’m still coughing my fever is way down, and I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to have both of my knees injected (another story for another time) and he can look at my finger.
I’m not giving up on my schedule, though I am going to put it away for a while. I spent most of today reading and sleeping on my backyard swing (which explains the crocs and the crooked bird feeder view – I might be sick, but I’m still not going outside without my camera) – soaking up good vitamin D, and I think it did my body good. The rest of this week is already askew and we are leaving Saturday for a week away from home. I’ll re-examine that schedule when we return.
My schedule is peanuts compared to C. J. Mahaney’s – or any pastor’s schedule, for that matter – but considering my recent string of “unpleasant things”, I appreciated this reminder from C.S. Lewis that I found in Mahaney’s Scheduling the Unexpected this afternoon…
The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “own,” or “real” life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s “real life” is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.
I think I should print that quote on my schedule, don’t you?