Sometimes I have to force myself to do what’s good for me. Like going back to work after a four-day weekend. Yesterday, in fact, I found myself in the health club’s locker room saying, “I don’t want to go to school today.” Our entire town had taken the day off to celebrate the university’s homecoming on Friday (we stopped celebrating mid-afternoon Saturday after the football game); then, of course, we were off to celebrate our veterans on Monday.
Perhaps if I had simply sat at home and caught up on housework or schoolwork—or prewrote some blog posts in anticipation of sleeping eight-hour nights—I would not have been so reluctant to return to school. But as it was—getting up early Friday, working on lesson plans all morning, driving three hours, working on my mother’s house for two days, driving back, then frantically doing laundry, shopping, and housework before getting up early to start a new week—the four-day weekend had stolen my “wanna.”
Add to that the fact that I woke up with my alarm Tuesday morning—and didn’t have my accidental quiet time for writing my daily blog post (woohoo! NaBloPoMo!)—and I was just plain stressed. (Plus, I might have thought of a few things I didn’t get done for school. Sigh.)
I didn’t “wanna” go to work. But did I go to work anyway? Of course! (Did I whine, of course! But TODAY is No-Whine Wednesday, so I was free to complain yesterday…. did I mention our headmaster decided EVERY Wednesday should be No-Whine Wednesday? After being an abject failure on last-week’s supposedly one-time No-Whine Wednesday, I get a second chance! And a third, and a fourth….Yay, me.)
Sometimes I just have to force myself to do what’s right—even if I don’t feel like doing it. (Yes, I am an American—but, probably, old-school one.) I liken it to drinking a smoothie that’s gone green. In that case, I force myself to close my eyes and drink deeply.
Lately, I begin most mornings—after my cups of coffee—with a smoothie. The smoothie contains coconut milk, a vegetable protein mix, freshly ground flax seed, raw spinach, banana, and frozen berries. It tastes good, seems to satisfy my body, and it is convenient as an on-the-go breakfast and, usually, a quick in-between-meetings-and-classes lunch. (If I didn’t have the desire to chew or didn’t get easily bored, I could drink one for every meal. But I do so I don’t.) When I make smoothies in the morning, they are delightfully pink or purple, but I rarely drink one then. I put two in my cooler; the plan is to drink one on my way to school and the other at lunch time. Sometimes I don’t manage to drink both, and I put one in the refrigerator to take with me the next day. The problem is, the longer I wait to drink it, the more yucky green, mud-colored it looks.
I have to will myself to drink it, knowing it is still good, knowing it is definitely better than most things I would prefer to put in my mouth. But it isn’t pretty. It’s rather like life, isn’t it?
When I was a teenager I stumbled upon the verse in James that says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17). From that moment onward, I was determined to stop studying the Bible because I figured the less I knew, the less I could sin. Unfortunately, someone had already mentioned that spending time with God and His Word was important and right—so I would be sinning if I didn’t. I was essentially trapped. I had to study God’s word—and I had to do what was right.
Sometimes doing what’s right doesn’t feel good, so I (metaphorically, at least) close my eyes and drink deeply. As it turns out, it is good.
(Which is a good thing to remember as I head toward No-Whine Wednesday at school today…)