Deadlines and Jesus (1)

Upon returning home from a trip, deadlines glared at me, as if with a sneer:  “You can’t handle us!  Ha….”  I felt inner tension rising.  The impending deadline is a normal, but unpleasant, part of life for many of us in the world of work.

For me this week, there are a couple of time-sensitive matters still unresolved, and two deadlines were met, and one was graciously extended.  Sometimes I bring more than the necessary amount of consternation into my soul by thinking about the deadlines–wondering whether I can meet them, when I can meet them, what I will need to ignore in order to meet them, and which situations can be delegated or can have their time frames extended.  This is called “fretting,” and I do it.  Something about lilies/grass of the field and birds of the air yodels to me (how’s that for a pastoral, mood-lightening verb to accompany the grass and birds motif?) through the centuries, and I begin to feel guilty for my worry.

Sometimes, worry is not much more than thinking and figuring, and sometimes, it’s “justified.”  Sure, people miss their flights sometimes.  And sometimes we have to accept negative consequences for missing a coupon expiration date or a financial or process deadline at work.  But most of the worry ends up being unnecessary.  Most of the fretting is a futile workout of the brain, if not the heart and soul.  “Which of you can add a cubit to his height by worrying?”

I know that worry isn’t helpful often, if ever, and yet I do worry.  Oh, that I could channel my worry into more important areas.

Next:  spiritual deadlines (but for now, I’m heading back to the office to deal with the completely temporal ones)

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2 thoughts on “Deadlines and Jesus (1)

  1. ababblingbrook 06/16/2011 / 11:37 am

    I counter this by delaying work until the deadline is hanging over my head like a puma ready to tear apart my weak and starving frame. Then I have no time for worry or panic, just solid steady work until it gets done. This is not a recommended system, but it is a system that helps me. When I have buffer time on my hands, I find myself distracted and wanting to do other things. So when I get tempted to worry or be anxious or fall apart, I come to a point where I don’t have the luxury of time for those things – just work.

    I do find that God knows exactly when I need to have some worry time – things get delayed and projects slow down – and it’s in those moments I realize I’ve been neglecting to turn to the one place that can provide me with the strength and focus to do my work and do it well. It’s a small lesson that takes a little pain and frustration to learn at times, but I’m all the better for it 🙂

    Also – new entry from me this evening. That’s three weeks of consistency! I work yesterday and today, otherwise I would have updated yesterday. Cheers, good sir! Hope you accomplish all that you need to.

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    • Brian Casey 06/21/2011 / 8:50 am

      Good self-analysis! Interesting thought in the 2nd paragraph–the thought that God might know when you “need some worry time”! I wouldn’t have thought that way, but I see that you mean.

      Vive la consistency (pour vous). (I’m trying to be /less /consistent with blogging right now.) 🙂 Not that I don’t have ideas–a reasonably sized backlog, actually.

      Brian Casey, D.Arts “God’s program is directed toward, and is experienced in, community.” – Stanley Grenz

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