I am not a woman who is capable of finishing everything I attempt to start; nor do I finish things with perfection. I make reading plans so I won’t fall behind in class, and then fail to use them. I plan ahead so that I won’t be frantically finishing an assignment the same hour I have to go to class–and still end up printing and sprinting. Even this blog is something that I have attempted to bathe in self-discipline, only to fail. Daily we are all asked to take on things that we are capable of doing — many of them things that we could do well. We get a lot of them done, but not all.
But is it failure?
I would like to submit the idea that we could all use a moment of self assessment; not on our rates of failure and success, but on our definitions and standards when it comes to failure and success. Sometimes we really don’t come through on something we need to have done. Sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we drop the ball. Sometimes we encounter the unforeseen and we make the choice to put people before tasks. Sometimes we have delusions of minute grander that suggest to us that we are capable of ignoring the constrictors of time and space–and social lives. Sometimes we make the wrong choice. But sometimes we make the right choice, and for some reason, we want to think that it was wrong.
I wonder what would happen if we stopped to ask God his opinion before we kicked ourselves?
I would like to submit to you that God is interested in how we love Him and each other–and that our to-do lists come second to those priorities if they are in conflict. Sometimes we love best by getting things done. We all rely on each other, and if we regularly failed to get important things done, we’d have serious problems. But, I doubt that it pleases God when we get down on ourselves for not being as self-diciplined and as accomplished as we think we ought to be. I think that the Kingdom definition of productivity is slightly different than our own, and that perhaps we could benefit from learning a new way to count.