Is that fruit?
I told a friend that I had the most relaxing weekend, to which she asked, “Did you go to the spa?” My response, “No, I cleaned.”
. . . like a lot, to that point where you’re about to do the windows and a few baseboards. Don’t worry, I stopped myself at that point. I read a lot, worked out, ran errands, worked, painted my nails, and enjoyed a movie. I realized how much more productive I was when everything as far as house chores were done. There wasn’t that moment of sitting down to work on acting/writing with the tapping on my shoulder from the dirty dishes in the sink, convincing me of their importance. It was as if with the clutter gone, new space and time opened up.
A friend once told me, “You lose your days in seconds at at time.” It only takes a few seconds to try on an outfit, change my mind, toss it on the bed, repeat 2 more times, multiplied by the week, and by Saturday there’s clean piles of clothes on the floor, and I can’t find anything to wear.
This pattern and habit is a problem. This may sound minor to you, besides what’s a little clutter? But these habits, pauses, and interruptions add up to delay, procrastination and unnecessary stumbling.
Operating in disorganization takes more time. So back to my Mom’s rules. No dishes in the sink, clothes/shoes put up, you use it – replace it, if it’s full – empty it, etc. You know those rules.
The benefits of this new discipline felt so great, I thought, I’ll keep this up. Yes, I’ll be disciplined in this area to make everything else easier for me! Easy, presto, done, finished, brilliance!
This was going great until Tuesday. I had a slight attitude towards this discipline of cleaning and keeping it all straight. I wanted to let it all go. This new habit wasn’t easy, and frankly tiring compared to what I use to do . . . which was what exactly?
Oh that’s right having a few lazy moments and some scrolls down Instagram. I was missing my moments of instant gratification.
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” – Hebrews 12:11
It became a simple math problem, were my moments of instant gratification worth the cost of all day time consuming cleaning sprees, rushing, the mental tapping reminders of “you should be doing _____,” and the cost (calories and money) of breakfasts and lunches out due to lack of preparation. No.
So Tuesday, when I didn’t feel like it, I became the grown up, stopped caring that I didn’t feel like it, and did it. Lunch packed, morning workout done, dishes washed, etc. The aim isn’t perfection, but increased discipline, growth, balance, and change. Change happens little by little. Besides, we’re all human and we have to take care of the goose. What goose? The golden egg laying one, i.e. you.
Stephen R. Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” told me Aesop’s golden goose fable. In short, the farmer’s goose starts laying golden eggs. He’s shocked, and thinks it’s a joke, but after the appraisal of the egg confirmed it was solid gold, he was ecstatic. The farmer over time became impatient with having to wait a whole day for another golden egg. Lacking gratitude and patience, and gaining greed, he decided to kill the goose expecting a gold mine of golden eggs. He was severely disappointed and robbed himself of ever having more golden eggs. The point of this fable goes along with Covey’s Production/Production Capability (P/PC) theory. You have what’s being produced (P – golden eggs) and the production capability (PC – the goose).
You’re decisions for the PC increase or decrease the P. There are several examples of this, a car’s performance and it’s maintenance, your health and your choices, etc. It’s a continual process that needs discipline, patience, balance, respect, and discernment.
So all in all, some self-discipline (fruit) developed over the weekend, and I thank God! I needed the increase in production.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” – Galatians 5:22-23
“But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” – Psalm 1:3
“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.” – Exodus 34:21
“When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him.” – Genesis 26:12
“Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.” – Proverbs 20:4
“A little extra sleep, a little more slumber a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” – Proverbs 6:10-11
“A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.” – Proverbs 24:3
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:4-6