One thing that I feel more acutely as I get older is my constant need to come back to the Source of Life to be refueled. No longer can I rely on adrenaline or youthful energy. My batteries frequently need not only recharging but redirecting.
Questions about how to invest my time take on added importance when I realize I have fewer peak hours in a day, less years left on this planet. In order to know I’m making wise choices, I need to seek the mind of Wisdom himself.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Take this graduate writing program. I loved my first five-week course. I enthusiastically agreed with the little engine. “I think I can!” Already, I’m filled with doubts, and I’m not sure if the doubts are good or bad. Was coming back from our vacation so worn down a sign to back off or an obstacle to overcome?
I don’t think I ever excelled at any one thing; instead I’m pretty good with a bunch of things. If I’d devoted myself fully, I might’ve been a really good piano player or a somewhat good artist, but I just learned a little and then stopped. Life got too busy to keep it up and my priorities changed. The same with writing. Yes, I’ve written a book, but since I added my new job and ministry with students to my schedule (at a time when most people my age are in bed), I have to struggle to even keep up this blog and occasional newspaper articles. Now I have an opportunity to begin to specialize in writing, and I don’t know if that will limit me.
One class at a time, decision by decision, I’ll try to continually seek the Lord’s guidance. Is this what you want me to be involved in? Is this the right use of my time? Do the good things (creative stimulation and future benefit) outweigh the bad?
The biggest cost seems to be in adding more to my schedule (which means some other area loses out). The quantity of my time with Steve will decrease, but can we intentionally make it more quality? Do I take time from rest and whatever gives back to me; do I say enough is enough and walk away; or can I find some middle ground?
Another question I’m left with is whether I should just accept that dabbling is who I am and leave it at that. One of the reasons I never committed to excelling in any one area is that I’m interested in so many. Someone once called me a Renaissance Woman and I liked that. I don’t want writing to crowd out my pursuit of music or art or decorating or gardening. And definitely not my pursuit of the Holy One or time with his people. I’m baffled by colleagues who can’t think of how to spend vacation days, or worse, come back to work post-retirement because they don’t have anything to do.
The world is out there and life is full. I want to do it all. See it all. Maybe specializing just isn’t what I was created for. Is it OK to dabble? How do you decide?