Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Frustrated or, What is My Measure of Success?

I didn't get my workout in this morning. I intended to wake up at 6:30 and do it, but when the alarm went off, I just shut it off and rolled back over. I felt so tired after a long evening and night battling some severe sinus allergies. When I did finally get up I hit the ground running. I had a goal of replacing our front door handle and lock. This required a trip to one of the bazaars. The best bazaar for this type of item is located a long way from the house, so I chose one that is closer, hoping it would have what I needed. I found one man selling a set that looked like it might work, so I bought it and returned to the school, where Sharilyn was helping to clean and prepare for the new school year, which begins next week.

After joining our two new teachers and one of our friends for lunch, I returned home and tried installing the lock I had bought. No success. The holes for the key and the bolts that secure it when locked don't line up with the existing holes in the door. At moments like these I wish I were more handy with tools. Of course it would help if I actually had the right tools available, which I don't. After considering various options, I called a friend and asked him to come by sometime and take a look at it with me. The small victory here for me was admitting I need help and asking for it.

I also wanted to get our newsletter written today. I had started this yesterday and left it last night when I couldn't get the software to do what I wanted. That, combined with my allergies, made me quite irritable yesterday evening. My family bore the brunt of this, though they did not deserve it. Picking up the project again today at first it seemed that I would meet with continued frustration. But after taking a break for a while, I finally figured out where my problem lie. After correcting it, I produced the document I had been working at for so long. So at least I can finish the day feeling like I accomplished something.

In the midst of these two projects I decided to tackle another job I had been hoping to give to a man I know. But he is out of town and I decided it might be something I could handle. I need to figure out why one of our light switches does not work. So I disassembled the old switch, looked at the wiring and attached it all to a new switch I had bought at the market. No success. Lacking much knowledge of electrical circuits, I am out of ideas. So another project goes on hold until I can get the help I need.

Like most Americans I measure my value by how much I accomplish in a given period of time. I feel good if, when I lay down to sleep, I know I have completed some task or at least made acceptable progress on it. While there's nothing wrong with being productive, does this truly mark the measure of our worth? Probably the most truly productive part of my day was the time I spent in conversation with the Father this morning before I rose from bed. Father, help me to value my days correctly, investing my time and energy in those things that you desire, without neglecting the necessary activities of life. Help me to not be frustrated when my to-do list only grows longer through the course of the day. Help me to rest peacefully in you each evening, even when the day has not gone well.

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