Taking Stock

Three or four times a year I take stock of my life. I look at my priorities. I take a long look at where I’m spending my time. I consider whether my time is really being spent on my priorities. I pray about where I’m involved and why. Are the responsibilities I have accepted the ones I should have?

On my computer monitor I have a little card that lists my priorities—God, family, friends, church, business, hobbies/activities. That’s the order. Under each priority I have listed the ways in which I will live out that priority. If you’re wondering where self figures into the priorities, I consider taking a proactive stance toward my health (eating right, exercising, and generally taking care of my physical and emotional well-being) to fall under my family priority. After all, if I don’t have good health I can’t take care of my family.

Recently I took stock. Things are going well. I feel like my time is spent in ways that mostly support my priorities. I am involved in places and in ways that energize me. Things are going well. So, imagine my surprise when I had a strong impression that I should walk away from one of my areas of responsibility at church. I argued a little with God. I enjoyed what I was doing there. It’s an area of ministry I believe in. I was working with women I enjoyed working with. I was not at all overwhelmed. So I talked with The Furry Guy. I asked our son, a wonderful man of God, to join me in praying about the matter. The sense that I should step away from this responsibility remained.

I decided that I would wait until after the first of the year. That wasn’t a long wait, and it seemed like a natural time to step away. God had a different plan. When our senior pastor contacted me about meeting to evaluate what we’ve been doing and make plans for future endeavors, I told him that I wouldn’t be part of the team going forward. After all, it didn’t seem right to have a voice in something that I wasn’t going to help see through. I explained my decision and assured him that there were no problems at all.

Last night, after our most recent event, I let the other women know my decision. I assured them that I’d be involved and help whenever I could. It was just the responsibility of being part of the leadership of that group that I was leaving. They were all gracious about it.

I’m not sure why I needed to do this. I do wonder if God is freeing up some of my time for something else. My son expressed that same idea.

Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed. Don’t wait until you’re fed up with something. Take some time to take stock of what you’re doing and why. That way you can make any changes you need to make to get all of those things—priorities, responsibilities, time—to line up.

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