2016 has been all about preparing.
As I write, I am in the middle of preparing for a move. I am in the middle of preparing for next week’s worship experience. Preparations are in full swing for spending the summer in another country.
The problem with all of this preparing? Sometimes, my thoughts are so set on getting things ready for the future, I don’t stop to enjoy the present.
I prepared for today, for moving to Olive Branch, for helping my husband plant a church, for revising my manuscript, for working as a substitute teacher, etc. All of my yesterdays were spent preparing for today, and all of my todays are spent preparing for tomorrow.
Will I ever be finished making preparations?
As we did the final walk-through of the house we are purchasing, I found myself picturing the future. I thought about where the litter box needs to go and how I can arrange the bedroom furniture and where my coffee pot needs to sit. Then, for just a moment, I paused. I stood still and looked at the grey tile beneath my feet. I ran my hand over the countertop. I turned on the fireplace.
I was just there, in that moment of joy, standing in our new home, watching sunshine sparkle on the floor.
I struggle to stop preparing my life away. In the end, there is only so much I can do to get ready for any activity or event. I can buy a new binder, print my manuscript, section out the chapters using neon yellow Post-its, mark the character initial at the top of each page, look for beta readers, and on and on ad nauseam. But the work won’t get done until I do it. And my agent can’t send it to editors until I revise it. And editors can’t love it until he sends it, which he can’t do until I … just do the job already.
Sometimes, in the middle of preparing for everything, you need to take a deep breath and quit. Quit plotting and planning and thinking it out.
Just do it.
In Mark 14, we are told: The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as He had told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
They prepared a meal and then what?
They served and ate the meal.
They didn’t spend the next three days continuing to rearrange the table settings and agonize over who should sit where and what might happen if Judas spilled the wine or Peter forgot to wash everyone’s feet. As it turns out, Peter did forget to wash everyone’s feet, and Jesus used that faux pas in a pretty amazing way.
My point is, they prepared the meal. They served the meal. They ate the meal.
Is there something you have been preparing for? Maybe you are waiting to start a family or join a church or chase your _____ dream.
Preparing for these things is not bad. Quite the opposite. But be careful. Don’t let your preparations for the future become excuses to avoid facing that future.
You prepared for this day. Now live it.
*originally published on Middle Places