A Place to Stand

I have been a member of North Carolina Yearly Meeting conservative for over twenty years. I am currently the clerk of our small Monthly Meeting. I am a recorded elder and presently serve as the Recording Clerk of our Yearly Meeting's Ministers, Elders and Overseers. My name has been put forward to be the next clerk of North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative. By trade I am a philosophy professor.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Faithful in the Little Things

My wife and I drove up to Richmond to get the car and to return the car we borrowed. We were both a little nervous driving the highway again after the accident, but by taking turns with the driving it wasn't excessively stressful on either of us. I continue to ponder what it is I am supposed to learn from the experience. One thing is form a conscious intention to be thankful. I've done that and I think that over time sticking to this will change me for the better. Another point comes from a comment made on the last post that I should devote more time to my family. At first I didn't take it very seriously since I already devote a lot of time to my family. But as I sat with this over a period of days I began to see that I should indeed devote more attention to them. Over my Cheerios and bananas this morning it became clear that there was a small task I was led to do. We homeschool our youngest child, Mark, who is just getting ready to go off to college in the Fall. If left completely to himself he will spend all day every day on math and science. We largely want to go with his strengths and let him follow his own interests. This works well for the most part but one consequence is that his writing skills have not kept pace. This past year I have been trying to get those skills up to what he will need for college, but it has been a struggle. Time for new writing assignments. Yesterdays efforts to write essays had not gone well. He freezes up when the assignment is too hard for him, and much time is thus wasted. This is frustrating because in one sense the writing assignments shouldn't be too hard. "Shouldn't" that is, if his writing skills were up to normal. But they are not, so I really need to let go of that "should" and start where he is. In fact he's made great progress with his writing this past year though he still has far to go. So I gave it some serious thought and set him assignments that were just a tiny bit harder than the last assignments he was able to complete without freezing up. He was working successfully on these as I left for work this morning.

It seems paradoxical that one of the results of this experience has been to add more to my to-do list, but for the moment that's where things stand. I'm sure I will have to do some cutting of that list shortly and I'm not clear yet on what to cut. But the most important thing is to be promptly faithful in doing small things that I feel clear I should do. When you are faithful in small things the bigger things gradually become clear too.

2 Comments:

Blogger Amy said...

"But the most important thing is to be promptly faithful in doing small things that I feel clear I should do. When you are faithful in small things the bigger things gradually become clear too."

Thank you Friend. This spoke to me. I see have some small things to attend to myself.

3:15 AM  
Blogger RichardM said...

Amy, I'm glad this spoke to your condition. It usually works for me though I cannot predict how exactly it will work. This time I've been led from one little task to another and have felt energized beyond my expectations to get things done one after another so I haven't felt overwhelmed. I was also clear to say "no" to a new demand on my time.

7:58 PM  

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