Friday, January 26, 2007

The Deadline

I made it! I'm exhausted, but I made it.

For the last two months, I feel as if I've been running bases and finally I'm rounding third and heading for home. The coach is motioning me on. I go for it. A ball is fired in from left field. I race toward home, and just as I slide across the plate the ball heats up the pitchers glove. He goes for the tag and . . . I'm . . . safe! Whew!

Breathless? Can you feel the adrenaline?

Have you ever had a day, a week, a month . . . or months that feel like this? There's so much that needs to be done--that must be done--NOW. You move at such a fast pace that your adrenaline never shuts off. Adrenaline can be a good thing, but too much is something else. That's when all I can think of is rest, sleep . . . anything that will quiet my spirit.

Life is filled with dealines--a school assignment is due, a deal at work must be closed, a speech given, a book turned in--it can even be something as simple as getting dinner on the table at a specific time--not so simple when you have a house full of guests.

We humans know about deadlines. Some people thrive on them and some of us would rather face a dentist with a drill. There is one deadline we all share--our exit from this world. It sits out there in our future--waiting. Will it be heaven or hell? Depending upon our answer it can be a terrifying prospect or it can be a promise. Me? I have a Savior--not that I deserve one, but He offered. I placed my trust in Christ many years ago so I'm looking at a heavenly eternity. I find peace in that, but it also charges me with an obligation. I have work to do before I go.

Scripture tells me that life is a race and I'm to run in such a way that I will win. This race cannot be ignored. And so I "beat" my body into submission. This could create an ugly image of torture and, for some, it may be. However, I don't think God intended it to be. Rather, we are to submit outselves to Him--walk closely, remain in his Word, seek His will and say no to the things in this world that distract us from His call, the only invitation that really matters. To fulfill that call I have to stay close my Father and keep my butt in the seat--my computer chair that is. Writing is what He's called me to, at least for now.

To run well we must spend time with our Heavenly Father. Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God and they talked with Him. It is a beautiful picture of oneness. Can you imagine how it must have been? There was nothing separating mankind from their maker. Adam and Eve knew only love and contentment.

Things have changed drastically since then and the race goes on. Although we run to win we are offered peace.

I've another book due in five months, speeches and workshops to create and a family that loves to spend time with me and whom I adore spending time with. And each day I climb into my Abba Father's lap and seek His way, His will. And there I find my peace. He's the one who directs my paths. Only in Him shall I know rest.

The all important deadline awaits. When that day comes I hope to hear, "Well done thy good and faithful servant."

Monday, January 01, 2007

I'm Not Superman

Last night as part of my family's New Year's Celebration, we watched the new Superman Movie. Our grandson, Gabe, was especially excited because Superman is one of his favorite people. Dressed in his Superman PJ's, he sat in his Superman Chair and ate his Superman sucker. It was a Superman night.

When the movie ended, Gabe ran about our front room with his shoulders thrown back and his arms stick-straight at his sides. He wanted to show us how he could fly like Superman and then he made sure we understood that he was the real Superman. He was extremely cute. We all laughed and gave him extra hugs.

His game of pretend reminded me of me. Sometimes I try to live as if I'm Superman. Only I don't look so cute when I do it. In fact, it can get ugly. Just ask my husband. :-)

With a new year beginning it's a good time to set goals, we call them New Year's Resolutions. I've not said anything about mine, but I have a short list. At the top of this list is--Learn it's okay to just be human. The past year I've made an effort to cut back on some of my "obligations" and I have done so, but I still don't feel good about it. I'm one who always pushes, works harder, does more. There's always another need that's not being met. I've come to the conclusion I can't be the one. I'm gradually putting into practice what I believe, only in my mind I'm still not okay with it.

I need to get there--for a number of reasons: My husband, Greg, son Paul and his wife Jessie, daughter Kristi and daughter Sarah and her husband Fernest, and then there's Gabriel, Corey, Ezra, and Olivia, my grandchildren. I need to spend good time with these special people. And if our encounters are to leave lasting memories it must be unhurried time. That's a challenge.

Like many of you I've been racing since mid-November. We had Thanksgiving, a family wedding and of course Christmas, which included shopping, baking, parties, plus my grandson's birthday, special services . . . and did I mention shopping? I think I did the shop 'til you drop thing. Anyway my feet and my back thought so. And when Christmas day was over, I wondered where had Christ gone, the quiet peace of His presence?

To add to all the busyness is a deadline. Writers almost always have deadlines. I have one glaring at me--four weeks from now. I'll finish, I always do, but the stress of "making it" will take a toll.

I push. I've always been one to push through. I'm one of those who tends to cram too much into my life. I like everything, want to be part of everything.

I need to find another way. God's way. He did not intend for me to push from one activity to another. If I keep on I'll miss it -- my life I mean. God gave me life and sometimes I'm supposed to meander--slow down so I can enjoy the scenery, smell the roses, enjoy the gift of living. I shall pass this way only once; it would be a sin to waste the days.

Work is good, friends are good, family is good and so is being part of my community, but its also good to do only those things God meant for me to do. My first calling is Him. I long for time with my Savior. He quiets my soul. My second calling is my family. I adore my precious one's and relish the intermingling of our lives. And then there is my work, which is also my ministry. God called me to write. It is a joy to serve Him in this and writing blesses me.

All the rest must take its proper place. If I allow, other needs can pull at me. So, my resolution is to continue to remind myself that I'm not Superman and it's okay. I can say no and it's all right. "No." There I said it. "NO." I said again! :-) Maybe if I keep practicing it will actually feel okay to say no. I'm counting on it.

So, my word to you is to savor this life, set priorities and remember that there can only be one Superman.