Life is Greater than My Checklist


“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions to one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life–the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.” – C.S. Lewis

God has been slowly showing me a different way to live. My instinct is to value a day according to how much I got done and thus to feel constant pressure to always be doing something that lives up to a specific, narrow-minded concept of productivity. This is stressful and burns me out now, but as I anticipate the endless added responsibilities of having kids and eventually homeschooling them, I am overwhelmed. I feel defeated already and even my desire for those precious children of my very own is stifled.

Added to this is the fact that I don’t even have a normal amount of energy to begin with. Due to some health problems, one of which is insomnia which leads to perpetual sleep deprivation, more often than not I have no energy for anything at all. How can I be properly productive when I have children and when I have tasks that are more important and unavoidable? How can I even love my children properly? I can barely keep up with the housework now.

But because of my weakness, I have been forced to slow down. Often to the point of getting nothing at all done for days at a time. And God’s been showing me the beauty of weakness because it is a hole in me that makes room for His strength. But He’s also starting to show me that being weak isn’t getting nothing done. I just need to expand my concept of a good day, even of a productive day.

So what if I couldn’t do the laundry today because I was so exhausted I could barely get off the floor? So what if all I could do was nap, read, watch Star Trek, and sit helplessly in God’s presence? I wasn’t up for anything else. In fact, I was in a moment in which those were the things I could do. They were the things that were good for me to do, that I needed–more than I needed to do the laundry. I don’t believe that God prevented me from sleeping the night before, but He did allow me to have this opportunity, to relax into my moment of weakness, to take charge of the task at hand, which was to just be, to take care of the child of God that I am.

So what if I didn’t get to all the things I wanted to get done? This was my life today. The best thing I could do was embrace it. I was living life just as much, just as well, by doing the thing that was put before me. I was living it better, actually, because I was living in the moment, the real moment, the only moment, embracing it.

This is something I need to learn. If I have kids someday, it’ll be even more important. If I can’t do the laundry because of a different reason, because my child is having a hard day and needs me to drop everything to just love him, I needed to be loving him most. My day wasn’t less good, less productive, because I didn’t complete a specific line-up of lifeless tasks. It was better because I entered into whatever came. And don’t our hearts measure a good day by love anyway? In our truest selves, don’t we actually know that a good day was more than a checklist?