Archives for posts with tag: limits

It has been two weeks since I have posted on this blog. I am sure that you have missed it and wondered what has happened to me. Your life has been greatly diminished because you have been deprived of my musings.

If I believed that, I would be in need of serious therapy. The fact is I suspect that you have not even realized that there has been a two week gap in my Thoughts for Thursday postings. And even if you realized it, there has been no detrimental effect because of it.

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Nevertheless, an explanation for why the hiatus. My oldest son Jason, his wife Keiko, and their two children Jamie and Felicia (my only two grandchildren) have been visiting for the past five weeks. In addition, we have also had a revolving door of guests since they arrived. My grandson’s best friend from Korea, a cousin from California, and another cousin from Japan have each spent 10 days – two weeks with us. It has been so much fun and it has occupied most of my thoughts. So, I gave my writing a rest.

By the way, my son’s family is one of many who live something of a nomadic lifestyle. They are a part of a large community of traveling families. They lived in Japan for 13 years but left there in 2013. Since then they have lived in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Spain. They are on their way to Mexico for their next residence. Jason writes a blog about their experiences and has posted over 100 podcast interviews with other traveling families. If you are interested, check out his blog (www.anepiceducation.com).

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. Francis Bacon

I write as a discipline, not because I enjoy it or think that I have anything of major importance to say. World events are not affected by my opinions or advice.  Lives are not drastically altered by my wisdom. I understand that.

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.

E. B. White

Verbal communication has been my primary method of sharing my thoughts. I am occasionally reminded that I can talk a lot without saying very much. Writing helps me to be conscious of choosing the right word(s) and I am more aware of reasonable limits on the length of my communication. Writing helps me discipline myself in that regard. Writing regularly with self-imposed time/space limitations also has value.

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
― Mark Twain

These past two weeks I have chosen not to chain myself to the chair in front of the computer to be sure I did not miss a Thursday entry. That, in itself, has been a discipline and a reminder that it is okay if I miss an occasional self-imposed deadline.

So why am I writing today? For one thing, I want those who read what I write to know that I am still alive and well. Secondly, in the midst of everyday life I need to maintain some sense of rhythm and to continue to work on the art of communication.

You can be certain that this latest installment is not because my sense of self-worth or my ego demands it. I understand the warning given by the Apostle Paul: “I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service].” (Romans 12:3, Amplified Bible)

Jamie Jenkins

 

 

Sometimes you just have to quit. Enough. Done. No more. However, that attitude does not necessarily mean that one is lazy or incompetent. It is simply the recognition that there is always more than one can accomplish and you have to establish a reasonable stopping place.

I am not encouraging people to be quitters. There are times when the work has to be finished. No suggestion that it is alright to be a slacker. Deadlines must be met but there is a need to maintain a balance between commitment and common sense. Some things can wait. Everything does not always have to be done NOW.

Blue Work Harder Neon Sign

I have the tendency to be a workaholic. My natural inclination is to work until the job is done. Keep your nose to the grind. One much wiser than I suggested that it is important to seize the day (Luke 9:62) but there are limits to staying focused on the task at hand.

There is a bit of a perfectionist disposition evident in my approach to a task. I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. I agree with the Apostle Paul who admonished folks to do everything in such a way that God would be honored (I Corinthians 10:31). However, that does not necessarily mean “working your fingers to the bone” is the only way to be faithful in a task.

There's a way to do it better - find it. - Thomas A. Edison

Sometimes you find a way to work smarter, not harder. And sometimes you just quit. Perhaps the task does not need to be completed, at least not at the moment. Perhaps you simply need a break. Then you can return to finish the work.

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I was reminded of this principle last week while I was doing some yard work. My wife is a Master Gardener and maintains a beautiful flower garden. She works hard at it and I pitch in a little by cutting the grass, trimming the shrubs, and occasionally digging a hole or two.

The few days of spring-like weather recently has brought out the daffodils and the trees are beginning to bloom. The roses that were cut back last fall are showing signs of new growth and you can see subtle signs of green in the dormant brown Bermuda grass lawn. So I decided to do my little bit in the seasonal transition.

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I trimmed the rose over the arbor in the backyard. The ivy coming over the wall had sent out long runners that needed to be cut back. It was a good time to fertilize the trees and shrubs. The grass needed to be raked to clean up the trash and leaves from the winter. One task led to another. What started out as a few minutes of work turned into more than I had planned.

Thomas Edison said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.”

Finally I decided I had done enough. At least for the moment. Everything else could wait until another day. Sometimes you just need to quit. The trick is to know when.

Jamie Jenkins