Monday, November 12, 2007

Significant Vs. Expedient

Ah, Monday. Again. The day when I open my e-mail Inbox to the weekend's accumulation of 187 posts in need of response. The day each week when the entire production staff gathers for scheduling meetings. My blog day. And the day we editors of the female persuasion have a standing lunch date at Taco Bell. Usually our TBLunches provide our merry band with our own peculiar brand of comic relief--especially when Annie is a part of the mix.

But today, Kelly wiped the smile right off my face, slugging me with a heavy dose of reality. She announced that Thanksgiving is next week! Before you dub me Scrooge, let me hasten to say I'm thankful for Thanksgiving. I love the holidays. They're just rolling around much too soon! I somehow thought I had at least a couple more weeks to prepare for the holiday onslaught. Now, 2007 is all but history.

In spite of the craziness of the season, deadlines keep rolling along. By the end of each day, the undone tasks grossly outnumber my daily allowance of minutes available in which to complete them. I find myself shuffling priorities to accomplish the expedient needs rather than the most important ones. Can I get an amen?

Then, into my spinning-plates' lifestyle drops a book that is shaking my spiritual shoulders and giving my soul a wake-up call. (Boy, I hope I'm allowed to cite a non-Barbour book. Cringe.) Here are just a few of the multiple nudgings I've highlighted in my copy of John Ortberg's When the Game is Over It all Goes Back in the Box*:

Spend as much time caring for the inner you as you spend on the outer you. . .

Pay attention to the rhythms through which you become more loving and alive and resilient. . .

There is a you in you that no one can touch. That's the one to pay attention to. . .

In light of Pastor Ortberg's advice, the Post-it note reminder I plastered front-and-center on my computer monitor reads: TAKE TIME TODAY TO FEED YOUR SOUL. In the busyness of the season now upon me, it is true that I need to stay focused on my editing and writing goals. It is true that I need to be focused and organized and efficient if I am to accomplish all the tasks that need to be done. But I pray I won't lose sight of the Significant amid the blur of the expedient.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16: 26--27, NIV.
*Zondervan, 2007


Mary Connealy said...

Susan, that's really beautiful.
I always hope and pray that I'm growing and serving. I know I write Christian fiction but it's so easy to become complacent. To get busy with the day to day things and forget what's really important.
A great post. God bless you.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Hehe, Susan. You should read my response to ACFW's topic of the week. God's still working on me, to make me what He wants me to be... :-D

Candice said...

What? Thanksgiving is coming?

Seriously, great thoughts here, my friend.

Mary Connealy said...

In fairness to you, Susan. Thanksgiving is REALLY early this year. My family (fifty of us at least) is celebrating it THIS SUNDAY.
Which means I'm on my own with my girls and two new husbands.
Which means I need to start cooking.
I'm good with the turkey, though. I'm really careful with the turkey. I put it out on the counter a week ago last Wednesday to give it lots of thawing time. That's right isn't it?

Cara Putman said...

wow. You have no idea how much I needed to read that today. Life is crashing in as it races by. Thanks for the reminder to focus on the eternal and important.

Vickie said...

Thanksgiving is next week...and Christmas is just around the corner! Yikes! It's hard to get in the holiday mood when it's still in the 70's here in Oklahoma.

Still, I need to be prepared. Gotta buy that turkey and those gifts and meet my December book deadline. Thanks for the reminder to not overlook myself during this busy time of year.

Jess said...

Thanksgiving! Arghhhhh!
We're juggling visits to grandparents, coordinating days off for working kids and college kids.
grumble, grumble, grumble.
But I'm so thankful we have grandparents, jobs and kids to juggle, and that we have the FREEDOM to grumble. :)

Have a blessed holiday everyone.

CHickey said...

Oh, the holidays. A blessing and a. . .well, you get the idea. We could have as much as 27 people here on Thursday, and I have to work on Wednesday. I'm thankful for a husband who loves to bake!

Time to feed my soul? I'll have to work on that.

And Christmas is tomorrow! (or at least it will seem like it).

Pam Hillman said...

Susan, your post resonated strongly with me. Why? Well, as you can see it's Thursday and I'm just now actually getting to READ it!

Many days I use my commute to pray and think about all the wonderful things God does in my life along with listening to Christian radio. It's soothing after a frantic day on the go.

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, how many new husbands did you say you have? Just wondering...