The week began with a short list of action items. They were more than to-dos. They were items requiring results. Hard deadlines set the stage. People were depending on me to achieve outcomes. It felt like there was no choice.
I know I always have a choice. However, the outcome of certain choices is not acceptable given my priorities. As a result, I found myself working on tax preparation, organizing files, and making calls to the other side of the world in the middle of the night. The progress was less than smooth. There were extended periods that I looked on with wonder; what had I been doing for the past two hours? Did I have anything to show for my work?
With each pause, the cause for worry increased. The browser for one project was not working. The pile of receipts that I needed to document was endless. To make things more fun, the ink on several receipts was fading. I wondered if things would come together.
There was logic in it all. I knew there was a sequence of steps I needed to take. Just like “three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take up his duties as governor, [then] he went up to Jerusalem,” (Acts 25.1) I could only start one step after another was done.
What was the highest priority? Could I do things concurrently?
Looking back on the week, I would observe the following.
We always have more choices than we realize. We may think there is only two choices or even one. There are more if we are open.
Relationships trump everything else in the immediate. This week I found myself pausing to help Carli with her taxes. Whitney’s took priority shortly after, at the expense of my comfort that our taxes would be finished. As I worked on the other, I found myself with ways to work smarter on my own.
Commitment and dedication are linked. The last step took me past midnight and into the early hours of Friday morning.
Relationships and values will shape today’s sequence.