Monday, December 12, 2011

Over Time, and By My Own Free Will

Anne Jackson writes about the "everyday, ordinary cell phone" she had early on. It was the kind designed for phone calls and nothing else. Things changed, though. "Over time, and by my own free will, I've upgraded to the superphone. It emails. It sends texts. It checks the score of the Dallas Mavericks games. It wakes me up at 5:30 every morning and lets me snooze twice for ten minutes at a time. It keeps my calendar and gives me directions."

I've got a phone like that. It's a great little device. And I can relate to what Jackson writes next about gradual shift in power -- from owning a cell phone to being owned by one. Her example of the phone is really just an example, or more accurately a symptom, of larger issues. The part of her description which captures me today is this:

Over time, and by my own free will...

When I stop and really think about it, the musts and shoulds which cause me the most stress are usually the ones which are not for me to own. When I stop and really think about it, I sometimes discover that the tight spots I find myself in are largely of my own making, growing from a long series of small decisions made individually over time -- usually from creating faulty expectations of myself or choosing to accept faulty expectations of others, rather than intentionally seeking out and following the path God places in front of me.

It reminds me again of Hummel's "Tyranny of the Urgent." Over time, and by my own free will, I can become distracted from my purpose, my values, my intent. Yet over time, and by my own free will, I can also choose to reorient back toward my intended purpose, values, intent. I want the "little" decisions to reflect that latter, better orientation.

Today has been quiet and refreshing. I feel like my soul has been catching up to my body today, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

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