Friday, May 23, 2008

Having Enough Of Today

by Donna L. Watkins

Most people wake up each morning with a knowledge that they've either got too much "today" on their agenda, or not enough.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Painted Wood Turtle - Costa Rica
For those in the rat race, there are generally restless nights, with minds that never shut down, and long days and lists of things that never get done, which cause the mind to run the agenda all night long. It's a mad circle that ends in sensibility or health problems. Somewhere you hit the proverbial brick wall. There's that moment of realization that not all tasks and responsibilities have your name written on them ... and the startling fact that life truly does go on without you.

Haven't you had an experience of somebody at work not being there for a period of time for surgery or more permanently a death? Did you notice that in only a few weeks everybody has adapted and moved on? Martha Washington has been dead a very long time, but somebody is still managing her house.

Stress comes from micro-managing your days and the lives of others, and from taking on responsibilities that were never meant for you. The reason we keep "doing it" is because we don't allow the necessary time for life to adjust to what you desire to be your "new life."

We aren't as important as we think we are. For a visual representation of this, take a bowl of water, put your fist and lower arm in it. You'll notice how the water moves to allow you space to move about. Now remove your hand and notice how the water fills the "gap" you thought you would leave. Life happens and moves on. Often our busyness is our own need to feel fulfilled from activities, but it never satisfies.

Only God is enough to fill our soul's empty cup. Overeating only makes us feel guilty. Shopping creates debt or at the very least takes away opportunity to make a true difference for the poor. The world seeks a full cup from many wrong roads.

Those racing through life would say they don't have enough today for all that needs to be done, but there are some who wake up each day hoping to have a reason to get out of bed. They don't have enough to fill a day. Having struggled with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I know that health problems can make mornings and life a real challenge, when you awaken to find, yet again, that you're not the person you used to be.

That can be a good thing. Bad circumstances can turn into great moments in our lives if we look at them from a different angle and allow them to mold and shape our rough edges. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "Nothing creates more deep-seated anxiety than the false assumption that life should be free from anxieties."

If you can't find anything to get out of bed for every day, work on it! It's written everywhere that focusing on something other than your own problems gives you perspective. It also takes your mind off of you. Health has a lot to do with our mental outlook and it's impossible to get well if we wake up each day with a groan that never ends till we go to bed.

The incredible fatigue that comes with RA has been my greatest challenge since it sets up a fear that if I schedule to do something (like volunteer or make plans with a friend), I may not have the energy to do it when the day arrives. Taking the initiative closes the door to fear. We all have fears, but the question is, are we going to control them or allow them to control us?

I've found that if I make plans and spend time looking forward to them (not worrying over them), I always have the energy needed. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that I am energized by the very fact that the day holds something exciting. That encourages me to make sure I have something planned for each day.

It takes a bit of faith that refuses to back down, back up, or settle for less than what God has promised. And that's the path to healing. If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything changed. You can't wait until your fear subsides. You must take the initiative.

So what needs to change in your own todays? Give it some thought and begin to remove some things from your schedule, or add to it. Life is best lived in balance. Remember that any change takes time for adjustment, so don't give up or settle for less! Overcomers understand that momentum is their friend.

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