There are natural rhythms of life like eating, sleeping, working, resting. And then there are seasons of life like schooling, parenting, transitioning, retiring, all of which may have seasons within themselves. I am in a season of building. I’ve only recently come to recognize this. Much of my life until a decade ago had to do with getting through something in order to get to the next thing like high school to college or graduation to career. What do you do then when you no longer feel the need to get through in order to move on? You build.
For many months now I have been on social media less, rather unintentionally. I am so bored with it because I am busy building. This is not a slam on social media, and I do still tweet and post throughout the week. It is all just so distracting, though. I am trying to find that balance between staying engaged and informed while also remaining committed to the work of building.
What am I building?
In short, a life. There are many moments that may or may not be Instaworthy, but my hands are full when I am building and the lighting may not be quite right. There are behaviors to discipline, habits to form, structure to maintain, and hearts to nurture. And all this takes a lot of time and effort. Mostly prayer. Life is not a touch screen, high speed with minimal delay and immediate results. It takes time to build.
The behind-the-scenes work of pushing kids on swings and bedtime prayers with pillow talks, or the early mornings and late nights of reading, writing, and editing may provide some immediate satisfaction, but I am only building. God has not revealed anything to me yet, and I am no mystic, but He keeps reminding me to not “grow weary in doing good, for in due season [I] will reap, if [I] do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). When is that due season? Beats me. And for me, it really does not matter because I don’t think any of us are ever called to give up doing good anyway. I just know that I won’t do as good when I am consumed with other things that distract me from building.
My home. Family. Friends. The people in my community. When I know what I am building will impact and bless people in my life even if it will take years to see it if I see it at all, then I know I am building something of value. My time is not wasted then. And so much out there today are time wasters and money suckers. We just throw it all away. It is all dispensable right? We can always get more? Right? Wrong. Sunday’s sermon was on Ephesians 5:15-16 and how we are to make the best use of our time because the days are evil. Making the best use of our time. Some ways I am trying to do this is by building- In the Lord’s strength, being careful with the duties He has assigned me. Not rushing through, taking my time with His time. Like money, it is His time, not mine. He knows the days ordained for me, not I. There are a few practices I incorporate into the rhythms of my life that help me build the life God is leading.
What Helps me Build:
- Praying– Seeking God daily
- Reading– Scripture, novels, non-fiction, biographies, special interest (education, parenting, theology, music, writing, etc.)
- Journaling– Note taking, personal reflections, reading responses, quotes, etc.
- Dreaming– thinking about what could be, what needs improvement or needs to be changed- also goal setting.
- Focusing– doing what needs to be done like the laundry, meal planning, writing deadlines, paying bills, etc. and not getting distracted
- Waiting– being okay with “not right now” and trusting God’s timing and provision. This goes back to praying and focusing- when you don’t know what to do, do what you know.
I have to trust that everything out there in the Interwebs is not all fast and flash, and that I am not missing out by pulling back the reins and building with care and ease the life God has called me to live. Behind the scenes. Unnoticed by many, but noticed by One who matters most. If you are a builder like me, don’t be discouraged in the slow process of it all. It takes time to build, and God makes everything beautiful in its time.