Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Invisibly Productive Day

This morning I was thinking though my priorities. I took pen to paper and made a list. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. I was struggling to feel like I was getting things done because the top priorities on my list required invisible work. This meant that if I spent the majority of my time doing the things that were most important to me, I would not see immediate results. I was beginning to see my need to embrace delayed gratification.  

Visible Work

There is something so satisfying about organizing my home, gardening, cutting my son's hair, painting the bathroom and making a beautiful meal. This kind of work is visible. At the end of the day there are results that are pleasing to me and to others. This is good work. Satisfying work.

But there is another kind of work that is sometimes not as immediately satisfying. This work does not always give immediate results. It requires me to be intentional and self-disiplined. The work I am speaking of is the work of relationships.

It seems like most women I know, myself included, choose to prioritize the visual kind of work. It is important to us to know that our life is a well-ordered smooth-sailing ship. Being well-organized and hard-working are good things. But here is the crunch: if our life is jam-packed full of visibly good work, what has happened to our relational work? Most likely it has been neglected.

Invisible Work

The fact is that good, healthy relationships require time, energy and effort and our visible work may have to take a backseat to it at times.

There is wisdom to leaving those crunchy Cheerios on the floor and instead spending 20 minutes of quiet, unhurried communion with my God. 

There is wisdom in an afternoon spent playing, talking and hanging out with my boys instead of cleaning the storage room.

There is wisdom in dropping a project for long enough to really see my husband, to hear what he is saying and to engage him with warmth and affection.

When I lay my head down on my pillow tonight I may have a crunchy floor, a disorganized storage room and some half-finished projects, but maybe I've done something of worth. Maybe I can close my eyes and thank God that I've had an invisibly productive day.