Exiting the Crazy Train
By BARBARA LOWNSBURY
I’m tired. After running two businesses, raising 3 children, being involved in several ministries and boards, writing a book and building into 22 different relationships—all simultaneously—something hit me. Though I had just re-structured my schedule to streamline these processes and let go of most outside responsibilities (the last two on this day actually), I had also quit doing the fun things. I write about the importance of building into yourself. I think maintaining ourselves is hugely important! But it’s just for this season, I reasoned. The end of the tunnel is in sight. But here I was having to cancel on my friends because my time was once again too full, and I was TIRED of doing that, tired of losing out on what mattered most in my life.
I re-read Stephen Covey’s P/PC principle. I have gotten too focused on Production (outcome) at the expense of Production Capability (the person/thing doing the producing, i.e. Me). In other words, my life balance was, using the non-technical term, whacked!
So this is what I’m learning. I can’t do something for or with everybody. Yes, I’ve always known that. But as a pleaser by nature, it’s hard for me to let go of some perfectly good opportunities in order to more fully embrace the great ones. I choose to let go of crazy and embrace peace.
I think of Jesus pruning the fruit tree. He says, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit” (John 15:1-2). It’s that last sentence that strikes me most. Sometimes a gardener has to choose between two perfectly good plant branches so that one can grow strongly. To let both grow would weak