There are some days when you just get to the end of the day and you wonder what was the point of this day anyway? I mean what’s the point of a day spent getting nothing on your calendar knocked off? Or what about the task list that is ever growing and seemingly never getting something taken off the list? Are days when you don’t get anything done really a wasted day?
This thought has been on my mind a lot lately because there have seemingly been at times important and at other times urgent matters that have come up on my calendar that have all but derailed my entire day’s plan. I try not to get stuck in the cycle of the tyranny of the urgent, which I’ll talk about more next week, but when things are urgent and important they kind of take over your life. Luckily these last few days have been either one or the other but not both, so there’ always that. But it doesn’t make me feel any more productive! I still have as many, and often times more things on my to do list than when I started my day. So what’s the point anyway!?
This one is for my church work friends but can apply to all of us who operate with the Christian worldview. Our world tells us the point is productivity and getting things accomplished. We’re taught that true success is about finishing what we started and being who others want us to be. We’re fed this ridiculous line that we’re only valued and valuable if the world sees us as valued and valuable. But is this really all there is? Do I really derive my sense of belonging and accomplishment in life from what others see in me or what I get done?
This week I’ve been less than productive by these standards! I’ve added more to my to-do list than taken off of it. I’ve missed meetings, rescheduled others, not been able to give 100% of my attention to certain tasks and the list of failures seemingly goes on and on. But as I sit here and type this, I’m smiling because these things don’t make life worth it. They’re not the point!
The point as I see it is building a set of healthy relationships and being 100% present in as many of our daily interactions as possible. This means that I might not get the email sent today because I spent an hour talking to someone who needed counseling. It means I might miss a workout because I had to spend time with someone in the hospital. It means I might not get all 20 hours of prep time in for my sermon because I spent three of those hours listening to someone share their story. These things all happened this week!
The point isn’t what we get done. It’s not the product of a day’s work. It’s not even the project we finish or the time spent collaborating on a task. The point is the journey of the relationship. It means you have to walk through the hard moments. It means you have to hear hard things. Say harder things. It means you have to disagree with people and still be friends. It means you will drop everything to help someone in need and be better than ok that you gave up what you wanted for the sake of someone else.
After one of my recent meetings the person with whom I was meeting said they were sorry for taking so much of my time. Well, I’m not sure if that person will read this but I hope they know it was time I willingly gave because that’s the point. The point is the conversation. The point is the journey we make together in Christ. It’s the talking and the listening just as much as it is the doing and getting done.
I’m not sure what you have left outstanding on your to-do list, but maybe today you need to just close the list for a bit and be where you are. Be here now. It’s a motto my mom taught me after an event she attended. Are you where you are? That’s the point. The point is be exactly where you not someplace else.
The point is your presence not your productivity!
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