Some days I slip my moorings. Adrift, I struggle to hold a steady line. I fail to anchor—to commit—I’m buffeted from half-done task to half-done task.
My workspace is strewn with Post-it Notes from eight different projects scribbled on in six different directions. My three monitors are littered with open windows from a half dozen programs. The serene desktop image is buried beneath the mundane and the urgent.
But then I finish one thing—a Post-it Note flutters into the trash, the associated emails are archived, the task log is color-coded and reordered—and the waters smooth. The course becomes a bit clearer. In my wake I see enough progress to give me hope I’m still moving forward.
I know this about myself. I know the satisfying sense of accomplishment that floods in as my pen lines an item off my list. I am a task-oriented achiever. I know. Oh, do I know.
But sometimes my restless, meandering path has less to do with unchecked items on my “to do” list and more to do with the being aspects of life. Somewhere along the way loving the unlovely became hard, so I skipped over to reading leading theological thinkers; but that got too deep, and I headed for the shallows of pinning down perfect answers in my small group study guide; but that was all head and no heart—evidenced by the “you idiot!” interjected seamlessly into my recitation of the fifth verse of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians as a driver cut me off—and I find myself in open water going nowhere.
The strain of my effort becomes too much. I stop. I pause. And in the stillness I feel the current of the Spirit righting my path, renewing my strength, directing my eyes beyond myself to the One who achieved what I never could. The unsettled feeling comes not from lack of accomplishment but from fighting to earn what I’ve already been given.