‘Whatever’

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10.

This verse comes to me frequently these days. These days of adjusting to new routines and considering new uses of my time. I am anxious to be busy and to be effective in that. I am keen to do the best for my children and the best for my community.

Perhaps what I do is not as important as how I do it. I am an educated professional, but I work in the home, in the church and around the community; none of these responsibilities pays me. In order not to get bitter about this I can take comfort in doing the best I can with what I have in my hands.

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  Didn’t expect that.

Perhaps also, I value and prioritise things differently from the way God does. I just want to get the housework done and then sit down. Maybe – like Mary – I should choose what is better and sit down first, listening and being. Listening is work too.

Perhaps also it is a time to reflect on the importance of change and of moving into paid work again. It could be soon, or it could be gently into a new venture. It might mean re-skilling and being humble in that.

Whatever it is – and whether there is a ‘right’ thing or just a right attitude and a willing heart, I imagine that doing what I find I am doing well and without complaining may be the most satisfying option (Matthew 25:21,23).

But.

I am a mathematician too.

I like to see the big picture and the connections. I like to be efficient as well as effective. I believe in the 80-20 principle. I can get more done if I do the right amount of it, particularly at the right time. It is possible to do an excellent job with amazing quality, but if you also want to deliver in time and on budget something will give. There are always many things demanding my attention and many things that could (and do) give, some of them precious. It is also possible to start where you are at and keep improving, and it is right not to be ashamed of the work-in-progress.

So.

I am going to find a day soon and audit my time, my priorities and my dreams, to see where it may be best to invest my time this year. We have big decisions to make and I feel most comfortable when I’ve assessed things well and accounted for various events. Do I start a business? Do I return to teaching? Do we put Joe into all the government funded hours he could be entitled to and make sure we’ve applied in time? How do we use the time Lily is not in school, to love her and invest in her and her friends the best? And so on, and so on.

But you know what? Even if my auditing day turns out less than 100% satisfactory for results, I can be sure that if I give it my best shot and keep at it, I can at least do what I do with all my might.

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