Friday, December 12, 2008

Taking Time;Taking Stock

Outside the day was darkening. Between the cracks of the blinds on my office window I had glimpsed the glow of a raspberry sunset an hour or so before, but turned back to the electric light of the office to continue a determined attack on the most urgent items on my desk, trying to finish them before leaving.

I wasn't the only one working late. In the next office, one of my team was working hard to complete the day's work. He answered the phone to a call from home, asking if he would be on his way home soon. We hurried each other along then. Some things can wait, but a little boy at home grows up when you turn your back for just one moment. We gathered our briefcases and put on coats to leave, saying that we would see each other in the morning.

Our manager of pastoral services was coming the next day to do a morning's presentation to the whole team on Soul Care for the Caregiver. None of us felt that we had time to break away from all that we had to do, but we knew we couldn't afford not to.

And so we gathered this morning at our home; a quiet retreat, with scented candles burning to welcome people, and fresh pots of coffee. One by one they arrived, until there were 9 of us and Mark, the pastor doing the presentation.

He started the presentation with a Pre-Quiz and thank goodness we didn't have to share all of the answers. They asked:
1) What time did I go to bed last night?

2) How much sleep do I normally get?

3) What was the last meal I ate?

4) Who were the last 3 people I lost my temper with?
(Susan, who was there, looked over and announced that it was me she last got mad at, in August, but she didn't think she'd lost her temper with me since. Phew.)

5) On a scale of 1-10 how busy am I?

6) Who would I really like to talk to that I haven't talked to in a while?

7) What is my prized possession?

8) Who is my best friend?

9 Whe was the last time I prayed?

1o) What did I pray for?

11) If I didn't have this seminar today but had free time instead what would I do?

We only had to share our answers to questions 6 and 11. The answers were interesting.

For question 6, some said a brother or sister, or someone in heaven. My answer was someone I just got a Christmas card from; a dear elderly man who lost his wife in April last year, and who I've meant to connect with ever since. I have felt guilty because I haven't and when I got his card it felt as if the door swung open again.

The funniest answer came from someone who said that she would want to call her friend, because, she said, "Her life is worse than mine." :)

Our answers to number 11 varied as much as we do too. Some said they would go shopping, or clean, or visit friends. I said that I would write Christmas cards!

What I want to remember from the day is: To rest before work; to let him do his work in me before I do my work for him. Mark reminded us that the Jews count the beginning of a day at the sundown of the day before, so rest comes before work, not after it.

Why don't you take a moment in the busyness of your Christmas preparations to think about the questions and maybe share your answers to 6 and 11 with us?

Isaiah 26:12 (New International Version)
12 LORD, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us

4 comments:

Night Owl said...

mmmm... the raspberry sunset sounds beautiful (and delicious!) :)
1) What time did I go to bed last night? 3:30am (I know, it's shocking... especially waking up at 7am...)
2) How much sleep do I normally get? (above)
3) What was the last meal I ate?
a clementine and coffee (I hate coffee :P) This is probably why I can't sleep!
4) Who were the last 3 people I lost my temper with?
my sister, my self, my self again?
How could anyone lose their temper with Belinda?
5) On a scale of 1-10 how busy am I?
hmmm... I'm not really sure what to compare this to. But busy = alive, so I'm embracing it.
6) Who would I really like to talk to that I haven't talked to in a while?
This one is very difficult! (I hope my answering the unnecessary questions will make up for my lack of answer here!)
7) What is my prized possession?
Like a material possession? Definitely Matthew. :)
8) Who is my best friend?
Also too difficult to answer. But I guess if I had to pick just one, it would have to be God. :)
9 Whe was the last time I prayed?
2 seconds ago! I prayed for the answer to that question!
1o) What did I pray for?
oops, Already answered this one. Well, I'm also praying to fall asleep soon, and to do well on my exam tomorrow morning.
11) If I didn't have (these questions to answer at this hour) today but had free time instead what would I do?
I would be studying (but this is a well needed, appreciated break). And if I didn't have to study I would probably be sleeping! And if I didn't have to be sleeping, I would probably be writing music or practicing or drawing or talking to a friend or praying! :) But I also have to do Christmas shopping soon...
Well, that was super fun! :) Thanks for putting that quiz up, Belinda! :)
Love, Night Owl

Night Owl said...

Oh, I know!
6. My first violin teacher - I would like to wish her Merry Christmas. :)
11......or writing a story, or reading...or skating... :) ...or building a snowman or doing something with my sister... :)
I'm missing the point of this post, aren't I? There's just so much I want to do!

Marilyn said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure I can, but I'll give it a try.

6. A friend from whom I've been estranged for several years. Maybe, maybe not.

7. Either 'nothing' or 'too many to isolate just one' - there are many items that are precious to me, and yet I tend not to form attachments to objects. I would be sad if they were lost or destroyed, but people are more important than things.

8. Barbara, my friend since I was 13

9. Within the last hour or so

10. Having just finished reading Ps. 46, I prayed for a renewed sense of the "ever-present help in time of need" fact about God.

11. I would take my next research step in starting a community Spanish-English intercambio.

As I read back over these seemingly disparate responses, I see that they are connected. Interesting!

Very timely, this post! I've recently journaled on the topic of caregiving. THANKS for sharing the Q's!

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

1) What time did I go to bed last night?
about 2 am

2) How much sleep do I normally get?
with my pain issues I usually average about 4, I'm working on making it more (ooh that rhymed!)

3) What was the last meal I ate?
Tortilla chips and salsa (not really a meal)
I guess my last actual meal was veggie chili

4) Who were the last 3 people I lost my temper with?
aside from myself (we may have some things in common Night owl)
Sidney, Sonic and Katka

5) On a scale of 1-10 how busy am I?
um uh I am not really busy, I like to relax and be a lump but at work I am about a 6

6) Who would I really like to talk to that I haven't talked to in a while?
My mom

7) What is my prized possession?
my new shiny beautiful ESV study bible

8) Who is my best friend?
so many!! I have a few! I am so blessed!
Carolyn, Bud, Maxwell


9 Whe was the last time I prayed?
other than grace, this morning

1o) What did I pray for?
that my friend would find a new home, for my friends and family, for the hungry/dying/ dead in sin/ unbelievers/sick/in prison etc
that I could follow God's will for me, for my doctors

11) If I didn't have these questions to answer today but had free time instead what would I do?
I'd be trolling the internet of course and prolly finishing my blog for today :)filling out my form to get a service dog

thanks! that was fun!