Dan’s Online Diary 

# 2.3.05 by Dan

I'm not sure what this is all about. And I've barely started.

Recently, I've been suffering an immense frustration. I'm swinging from one paradigm to another, unable to resolve the dichotomies that found these positions.

Firstly, there are the things that I do: spend time with my wife, spend time with my son, work (my employment), church activities, personal time spent in meditation over God's Word, physical exercise. I cannot seem to maintain these things effectively. I'm unreliable, irresponsible, half-hearted, and mediocre at best.

Then secondly, there are the many things that I've started but have left unfinished; the broken down Alfa Romeo in the garage, the weed-flanked driveway, the friends I haven't caught up with in some time. My guilt is provoked each time I walk out of my house and see the garage, then when I carry on up the jungley drive, and again when I walk past friends' houses, and once more when someone logs on to MSN Messenger. Why can't I take up these things again?

But that's not all of it; there's a third issue. I can see such tremendous potential in so many unexplored ideas, with more benefits than there are seconds in a lifetime. Excitement, adventure, fulfilment, release, you name it. I'd like to travel, drive across continents, buy a race car and join a club, get more sun, learn to ride a surfboard, play in a rock band, learn to DJ, learn to cook gourmet food and develop an appreciation for fine wines. I spot new people I'd love to get to know, strangers with whom but the briefest glance can deliver millions of hints of unique experiences, ideas, and opinions that no-one in the world knows but they. I'd love to run my own business, find a market niche and watch an idea sprout, bloom and bear fruit. I'd love to be in a position to be able to give abundantly to any who may have need.

...and so with each passing second this huge seemingly untappable stockpile of possibilities is growing, piled up against the very few things that I actually do, and creating a pressure, a frustration that is becoming unbearable.

But then if I step back and look at the three categories of things outlined above, I realise that in the first category - the things that I do actually do, albeit poorly - are the things that matter most: God, my family and His family. And then the second category contains things that are real, things that I should do, but are not necessarily vital. Finally the third category contains many things - most of them are good things - but these are just dreams, not realities - vapour, wind, chaff.

So why am I worried? I have nothing to worry about. I can concentrate on the comparatively simple tasks of the first category, honing my skills there, maybe even managing my time better with these things. And once this area of my life is healthy once more, I can look at introducing something from the second category. And the third category? Well, I'll keep those things in the back of my mind, and if one should approach within easy grasp, then that would be most pleasant also.

Ah, things are so much simpler now!