Am I a workaholic?
How could I be when I binge multiple seasons of New Girl on Netflix in a single day? I mean, really, what about all of those times where I scroll mindless miles through Instagram and Facebook? What about those days where I spend hours clicking through ridiculous quizzes that will tell me which color of Crayola crayon I would be instead of focusing on all that I need to do?
However, lately, those days of responsibility avoidance have begun to become less frequent as I make list after list of tasks I must get done. My planner is pristine. My monthly calendar is marked. My weekly schedule is up-to-date. My daily to do list is prepped before bedtime. My life functions like a well-oiled machine.
Until, my self-made organizational machine consumes me.
Something unexpected comes up and I immediately start rearranging my plans to make sure I check everything off within my self-set time constraints.
A friend wants to catch up with me for a few minutes, but I find an excuse to keep working and keep my schedule from faltering.
Rather than binging my life away through seasons of House of Cards or a non-stop Rom-Com movie marathon, I allow no time for interruptions and keep working until bedtime.
Maybe I take small breaks to eat, refill coffee, or stretch. Most times my “breaks” really just mean switching to a different task to mark off on my checklist.
I’m sleeping plenty. I’m ahead of deadlines. I’m producing homework products that are far superior to past assignments I submitted. I feel so incredibly on-top of my game.
Except, my health is lacking.
The first thing I cut from my rigid schedule was working out and social time. Even when I pencil in yoga to the daily to do list, I seem to ignore that one. Organizationally and academically, I’m performing admirably. But, what about my physical health? What about my mental pauses and down time with friends?
However, so much worse, I cut my spiritual health. It was much too easy to dodge out on personal devotions to focus on my studies. Skipping chapel services to robotically type away on my laptop in the library didn’t even require a second thought.
My new found drive is not in-check. What should be a motivational blessing is actually an imprisoning curse. I can’t explain my drastic switch from napping sloth to unrelenting cheetah, but I can guarantee it’s unhealthy. While laziness is one way we avoid service to God, too much drive and a focus on the worldly tasks before us makes us focus on just that - the world.
Is my life really successful if I work to better the little world which encompasses me but don’t better my relationship with Christ?
I can check off everything on all of my lists and label myself as a successful college student, but this will never satisfy. My worth is not in this world. My worth is in Christ.
We all have been called to serve our Savior and to share his message. Yet, it’s the easiest thing to serve our own sinful flesh.
I recently heard an interesting statistic about millennials - a generation that I tail end. Ninety-six percent of millennials believe that they will somehow change or impact the world.
I see myself in that ninety-six percent. I dream of doing what the world deems to be great. I believe that my hard work and dedication will produce change and a better tomorrow. That’s great, but isn’t there something more? Isn’t there a greater purpose? Why am I trying to impact the world when my true purpose is to impact souls?
I am on this earth for a reason. You are, too. We have a mission. It’s a mission better than to dos, more rewarding than A’s, and more satisfying than success.
I sip my coffee.
I look at my checklist.
I still have so many boxes to check off today.
I mentally checkout of the table conversation my friends are having.
I type away.
The voice in my head is screaming, “Reset your focus!”
It doesn’t feel that simple.
It should be that simple.
I’m so thankful for my newfound dedication to the tasks God has placed into my life. Even if they are worldly, they’re tasks that God has intentionally given to me. There’s a reason that motivation and focus are becoming a part of me. But that’s all I must let it be - a part of me, not my whole self. I will not let it consume me.
I glance around the table at my Christian girlfriends.
They type away on their laptops, headphone cords twisting in their hair.
Across the table, I make eye contact with one of them.
She smiles at me.
I smile back.
I know the obvious.
There’s a way to make it simple.
“Christ, consume me.”
My perspective shifts.
My mindset changes.
My mission is beyond my textbooks, my planning, and my personal goals. My mission is Christ’s mission. It’s time I let that consume me.
I start by closing my laptop.
It’s been over a week since I began writing this post.
I’m still working on driving my drive.
I’m probably not skilled enough to receive my license just yet, but I am getting better at controlling my speed and the turns I take.
Maybe that’s partly because classes have ended and my finals are easy. My dorm room is mostly boxed up and I’ve started spending more time with friends. I have more free time and my to do lists have become shorter. I even woke up early this morning to go on a walk through the state park in town.
I’m happier when I take a few moments each day to coast. You can’t go full speed and expect your engine not to wear out. There are blessings in work. There are also blessings in leisure, in socialization, and in personal solitude.
I know the biggest contributing factor to finally downshifting my schedule is an effort to better my spiritual life through devotions and chapel sermons. When we seek to put Him first, our whole purpose and attitude change. Maybe when life becomes hectic again, I’ll fall back into bad habits, but I pray that God gives me the drive to focus on racing to Him first in all things and at all times.
After all, isn’t that my real mission here?
I think it’s time I relinquish some of my control and move to the passenger seat so Christ can drive me to roads and destinations that I cannot discover on my own.
Let Your Crown Shine Today.