Like most people I know, I love Saturday. I love my job, but I always look forward to a day off.
Last Saturday, my boyfriend, Garrett, and I had a date night- sushi and a Bobcats game- perfect. While we were in the car, I subjected him to one of those semi-ridiculous question lists for your significant other you can find on pinterest. (He's a good man and played along :) ). I call the list semi-ridiculous because, in the midst of the truly ridiculous ("if you were a crayon, what color would you be?"), I found a gem,
"How would you rank the following priorities in your life: God, work, school, family, significant other, friends, hobbies, and church? *here's the kicker* Does your ranking reflect the amount of time you spend on each priority?"
Do I have priorities? Absolutely.
Do my priorities reflect the amount of time I spend on each one? Um, no.
How many times has my family time been spent with me sitting in the same room with my family, but mostly tuned out, under a stack of school work, or falling asleep because I'm so exhausted? How many times have I chosen either Sunday School or Worship and skipped the other in the name of getting work done? How many times would I have wanted to spend with my amazing friends but something "important" came up? How many date nights have Garrett and I spent cutting out materials (then laminating and cutting them out again) for my county's new math curriculum? (#teacherboyfriendproblems) When was the last time I sat down and read a book for enjoyment? When was the last time I went on a trip and left every bit of work at home? When was the last time I didn't work after I got home, or on a weekend? When was the last time I danced? Or journaled? Or sang (not in the car)? When was the last time I went for a run? How many times have I rushed through my devotion in the name of checking more and more off of my to do list?
It makes me equal parts sad and angry to think of all the moments I've missed when I answer those questions. Moments with my family, moments with my friends, moments with Garrett, and, most importantly, moments with God.
Hear me clearly: I love my job. I do. I believe in it whole-heartedly- my children are important, their futures are important. However, I've made the mistake of getting so caught up in pacing guides and getting everything "right", in progress monitoring schedules and benchmarks, in data analysis and interventions and deadlines. I've made the mistake of letting the urgent trump the important. I do it time and time again. I've done it for much of my life.
I had a project due in high school so I skipped a family outing. I had a crazy amount of homework so I skipped choir. I had a meeting so I skipped women's group. I was exhausted from student teaching and had papers to grade and lessons to plan, so I didn't go to dinner with friends or to RUF (a campus ministry). I was spending time with friends but wasn't completely "there" because my mind was racing with all of the stuff I had to do. It's happened over and over. It still happens.
Again, hear me clearly: I believe God expects us to be responsible, to handle with care the things He has given us. Everything we do matters to Him- little stuff, big stuff, in between stuff, it's all His. This includes not only our relationships with Him and others, but our bodies, our jobs, our responsibilities, and the "have to's" of life that many of us would rather not do.
My prayer is that I will no longer let the urgent trump the important.
My prayer is that you won't either.
Today, I'm spending my Saturday with Garrett and two friends of ours that we don't get to see nearly often enough. I'm going to enjoy every single minute of it. I'm leaving every single bit of work at home. And you know what? It will be here when I get back.
I'm refusing to let the urgent trump the important today.
And it's going to be a great Saturday :)