“We find rest in the incompleteness of the present moment as we learn to recognize the goodness of what is and as we trust that what is needed for the future will be added at the proper time.”
Sally Breedlove, Choosing Rest
Incompleteness and lack don’t feel like the keys to rest. It feels like we should work ’til work is done so that we can rest, so that we can put up our feet and really revel in all we’ve accomplished and accumulated. Then comes rest.
Yet we go to bed each night with an unfinished day, with more to do, with a growing list to greet us the next morning. Nothing is ever really finished or complete when the options are unending and when perfection is just a matter of working harder.
Maybe this year is the year of limiting our options.
Maybe this year, instead of expanding my borders, accomplishing more, gaining ground…maybe this is the year of fewer choices.
We wallow in this overflow of choices daily. What to eat, what to wear, what to watch or listen to or read.
When I bought my Kindle I just knew I’d read more, because how handy to have 900 book options at my fingertips and how cheap. Instead, I think I’ve read more first chapters and finished fewer books than ever before.
Why? Because the options draw me away. I don’t have to push through the hard or dull or confusing. I can just switch according to my mood according to the day according to the weather and the fatigue and the need of the moment.
I have choices, and I make bad ones.
We want options but we abuse the privilege of choosing.
We’re tripping into a New Year now and the list-makers and goal-setters are ringing the bells. Resolutions resound. Stakes are high. We have the best of intentions and our lists are grand.
2014 was a year of more for me. My goals were along the lines of print more pictures, send more handwritten notes, read more books, be more prepared for special occasions.
Some would say those were lame and immeasurable goals, too vague to make a difference and too wimpy to really push for change. But they worked for me. I know what areas I succeeded in, and more was enough for me, even if it was less than perfect.
I will keep on with those more goals of 2014 because they are good and I still need to work on them, but at the same time, my more for 2015 might be less.
I’m taking everything off my Kindle except the one book I’m currently reading and whatever the kids are reading on it at the time. Because I need to focus. Because I’m distracted and fickle.
I’ll simplify our meals with fewer choices because dinner needs to be simple, because life is busy, because we have so many options.
Sunday will be for soup, Tuesdays for tacos, Friday for pizza. Mostly.
I’m going to read through the Bible this year, which is actually more than last year’s goal, but it equates to less because it limits my options. I won’t spend energy wondering what to read or study or focus on. I’ll open to the next chapter, and because God is God, He’ll give me just what I need for that day.
It’s ok that this plan will be less than perfect. I’ll get distracted by great Kindle book deals, Leviticus will bog me down, and we might get tired of tacos on Tuesday.
Less than perfect is better than too much, because too much spreads me thin and distracts me and overwhelms the simple life I long to have. It’s the one push-up principle – that committing to do something small often leads to doing something bigger, and what’s bigger than a life made spacious by fewer options?
I want to recognize the goodness of what is, and the fact that something is less than perfect, less than complete, or less than it could be, only means that tomorrow I can practice the rest of incompleteness again.
I’ll be figuring out just exactly what that means this next year.