Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Process or Goal?

For a long time, probably too long, I have been a self proclaimed "finisher" kind of person. Very goal oriented. I would be a real good motivator for a company that has some major "# finished every hour" goal. Like the old McDonalds signs "A Billion Served". I was the fastest cashier at Bell's Grocery store when I was a teen at my first job. Each shopper was a new conquest, and they loved me for it-employer and customer alike! Walk into Bells, and there I would be on the speedy checkout lane. It is very gratifying to have a whole string of things all done simply from my efforts. "I did it!" kind of mentality. (Seeing it in type, it's hard to decide if I sound like a two year old, or very, very haughty!) Compared to the person who starts projects and never finishes them this sounds good, I would imagine. Especially if the partial doer is a husband, and the frustrated observer is the wife!

The kind if finisher I have been, though, is one who in the course of "the doing" seldom (if ever!) found real enjoyment in "the process". This is really-really bad, for as everyone but me understands, LIFE IS THE PROCESS!!!

All the stuff that happens moment by moment are the real meat of it all. When God saves a soul, the end result will be their eternal state rescued from the pit of hell, and that is a wonderful and amazing thing. A true death bed conversion reaps the same reward of faith. Life eternal with a righteous God cannot be minimized!

But the process of a person- coming to know Jesus and all that he is- the days that will be spent reading and praying and falling in love with The Savior- that is where the the real Glory of God can be seen. When a person realizes the immenseness of salvation, and has possibly many years to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ- Oh the magnitude of that! All that God did for us was done before our first breath-All that we can do for God must be done before our last!

So in thinking on these things, I realize perhaps being a goal-girl has great benefits in the fact that all my projects get done (well, usually done- at least mostly!). But I really have to wonder if I am not missing a few things along the way.

The "stop and smell the roses" people used to really bug me because it takes a lot of time to do that, y'know? I would get frustrated when it took my husband more that 3 seconds to get out of the car after it was shut off... come on buddy! Times awastin'! I could list the endless times D. would say "would you wait just a minute?" and I would wonder "for what?". All the while I would be missing one of the most glorious sunsets God ever painted. Now, I cannot tell you how many times D. is amazed when I say, "Hon, look at those clouds!" I guess in the whole of it, I am growing up. Please don't misunderstand that to think I meant I am getting old, or even really maturing. Those are goals I have never set for myself, and hope to never achieve! But what is true, I slow down to realize it goes too fast all by itself! God wants me to learn a few things along the way, to enjoy the split seconds that I usually am too harried to even realize existed, let alone notice. There are many lessons to learn from moment by moment trusting in God's provision. Realize that each thought I have could be given over to God and allow him to mold me and make me. What a Great and Patient God I have, and to realize that the vapor that is my life, is still precious to Him.

Growing up, my mom had a mirror in her bathroom that she put a poem on the back. It was all damaged from the inevitable splashes of water and soap that happen in a loo. But every time I would brush my hair or wash my hands I would read that poem, and had I really put it to heart more than head, I am sure I would have missed a lot less process points than I did.

No time, no time to study,
To meditate and Pray,
and yet much time
for Things and Doing
in a fleshly, worldly way

No time for things eternal,
but much for things of earth,
The things of God are set aside
for things of little worth

'Tis true some things are needful
but first things first.

There are a few more lines, but I cannot for the life of me remember them. The mirror is long broken and tossed, and who knows who wrote it. The parts I do remember are enough to keep me in the right mindset. A little of what not to do, but I work well with that!


jen said...

i was pondering this whole process vs. goal thing last weekend as I was spending time with some good friends—one of whom is very goal-oriented, and another who is all about the process...doesn't even care much about the goal. It was an interesting study in figuring out where I fit in...I hate thinking all the time "I have to get this done" when I could actually be enjoying the doing part...
I'm glad you started a blog!!

Janice said...

So you, too, are a goal-girl? ... gets the job done!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell you who wrote it, but all I have are the initials-- MEH.

No time, no time to study
to meditate and pray,
And yet much time for doing
In a fleshly, worldly way;

No time for things eternal,
But much time for things of earth;
The things of God are set aside
For things of little worth.

Some things, tis true, are needful,
But first things must come first;
And what displaces God’s own Word
Of God it shall be cursed.