Sister #1- Remember those 50-yard dashes we did in school? I always came in last.
Sister #2- Really? I usually came in first.
Me- What races?
This conversation took place several months ago. Since then, I’ve reached far back into the recesses of my mind and it turns out my sisters aren’t the only ones who remember the 50-yard dash. Okay, I actually have no idea if what I recall was the 50-yard dash, I just know it was a race. And I know I was in seventh grade. Unlike my sisters, my memory doesn’t involve winning or losing. In fact, I wasn’t even in the race. I was simply minding my own business. Was it my fault if I just happened to walk into the path of a group of runners after their race had already begun?
I have a vague memory of my teacher, stopwatch in hand, rolling her eyes.
If she were here today, she might still be rolling her eyes…
My daughter and her family recently moved and my eight-year-old granddaughter excitedly told me, “Mimi, it just takes five minutes to get from your house to mine if you don’t get mixed up.”
My husband assures me I would “get mixed up” less often if I would simply pay attention, and he seems a bit skeptical when I explain that my mind is so cluttered with big ideas, I can’t be bothered with pesky little details like where I’m going.
I really do try to heed his advice. I know how important details can be, having experienced first-hand how inattention to them can leave one feeling run over by life (not to mention a bunch of sweaty seventh grade boys.)
Yet, what I’d like to say to my twelve-year-old self (and also my somewhat grown-up self) is that this big-picture mentality, which often seems like a liability, is actually a gift that God wants to use for good.
One way He can use this gift is to produce the Fruit of His Spirit in our lives…
9 Ways Spaciness Can Be Productive
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
When we’re overwhelmed trying to prioritize what needs to be done, we can focus on how things should be done.
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 1:14
When we’re irritated at what we lack (organizational abilities, time management skills, the awareness that we’re about to walk into the middle of a race…), we can rejoice in what we have—a Savior.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18
When we’re stressed and distracted trying to keep up with the demands of our culture, we can turn our attention to what’s truly valuable and learn to let go of the rest.
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
When we realize our need for others to be patient with our mistakes, we can be more patient with the mistakes of others.
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
When we’re forgetful, we can recognize that sometimes forgetting is the kind thing to do.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
When we despair of what good we can possibly do, we can trust that God’s goodness will work through us.
You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes. Psalm 119:68
When we feel defeated, we can learn to persevere.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2
When we feel defensive and our feelings get hurt, we can learn to accept our shortcomings and appreciate helpful advice.
Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20
When our challenges frustrate us, we can determine not to be controlled by them.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28
As the apostle Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on…” (Philippians 3:12) Like Him, we’re a work in progress. But so is a peach blossom and it’s incredibly beautiful! That’s something to reflect on. And if, while you’re absorbed in pondering that, you happen to wander into the path of a bunch of sweaty racers, consider this—one day, years from now, you can write about it.