I can't believe it is almost 2017! Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that I was posting the first time in 2016? Time is flying! I really don't see how it could possibly be anywhere close to the New Year. Do you?
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I know I did. With it being on Sunday, we got to go to church and enjoyed visiting with people afterwards since we didn't have either choir practice or bell practice. And neither I nor my sister were working in the nursery. :) Then, after eating lunch, we had a relaxed time of opening gifts at home. Then I got to read. Well, I was going to read, but my best friend called and wanted to know if I wanted to join them in a walk. So I did. It was lovely weather! It was nearly 70º, overcast and quiet. It really was delightful. Then I came home and read.
Right now I'm up at my grandparents'. We don't have much planned. Just relaxing and hanging out. We head home tomorrow. And then it's the New Year. *gulp* Are you ready for the new year? What big projects do you have planned for this coming year? Anything?
I know I've posted this story before, but it's been a few years, and I just thought it was appropriate with the New Year almost upon us to be reminded of a few important things. :) Enjoy!
One Thing at a Time
“There isn’t any time or I have no inclination!” The girl flung down her pencil and watched it roll across the floor and under a shelf with gloomy satisfaction.
“No time or inclination for what?” asked an amused voice.
Turning, the girl saw her brother standing in the open doorway. There was a look of fresh air and sunshine about him and his eyes sparkled with life and energy.
With a deep, drawn out sigh, the girl turned to stare moodily at the wall, propped her chin in her hand and replied, “Everything.”
“You’re right,” came the unexpected answer. “I have no time nor inclination to go join some of the other fellows in the saloon, or spend half the night at a party dancing, or play cards with Bill and Tom though they coaxed me to for half an hour yesterday.”
“But it’s not the same thing, Max!” the girl pouted. “I’d think you, at least, would understand and help me.”
“Suppose you explain yourself then, Meg and maybe I can.” The young man settled himself on a chair where he could see his sister’s face and waited.
For a moment Meg was silent, her pretty face clouded and gloomy. At last she spoke. “There’s nothing to explain. I just don’t have the time to do everything I want to do or should do, and when I do have the time I don’t want to do it.”
Max nodded soberly though his brown eyes twinkled merrily. “Of course. Just what I said, not enough time and don’t want to. Anything else the matter?”
At that, Meg glowered at him. “You’re no help! Why don’t you go play ball or go fishing.”
Max laughed. “Because I don’t want to. It seems to be the same problem you have. Besides, there’s no one to play with. Seriously though, Meg,” his voice became sober. “It sounds like you have the same problem the Apostle Paul had when he said the good that I would, that I don’t do, but the evil that I don’t want to do, that’s what I do.”
“But I don’t want to do evil, Max,” Meg protested. “The things I want to do are good, but when I have time to do them, I don’t want to do them anymore. And when I should do them, I want to do something else.”
“Oh, so you’re problem is that you want to do good things when you want to do them and not when you should do them?”
“Doesn’t doing something, even if it is good, at the wrong time make it wrong?”
“There’s a time for every purpose under heaven,” Max quoted.
“But that doesn’t mean when I draw and paint and when I practice the piano or weed the garden. Or study history,” she added in a lower voice.
“It doesn’t? Meg, if I were to decide to work on my Latin when I should be preparing my algebra, do you think I’d be ready to recite in arithmetic class?”
“And if you were to practice the piano when Aunt Jane was taking a nap, do you think you would be ready for your lesson?”
Meg couldn’t help smiling over that idea though she shook her head. Her aunt would soon put a stop to her lessons if she tried it. “But my drawing and reading and weeding don’t disturb anyone.”
Raising his eyebrows Max folded his arms. “They don’t? What about you?”
A puzzled look crossed Meg’s face. “What do you mean?”
“Doesn’t your reading disturb you, when you want to do it when you shouldn’t?”
Meg’s eyes dropped and she half turned her face to hide a blush, for Max had spoken the truth. She did love to read and often her drawing and garden were neglected while she poured over her history book. “It’s that I don’t feel like drawing sometimes or working in the garden, even if I do enjoy those things.” Her voice was muffled by her hands. “And I have to study for history.”
“Do you feel like you’ve accomplished everything well if you study your history when you haven’t finished the rest of your work?”
Meg shook her head slowly.
Silence fell on the room. A bee buzzed around the open window and the sound of robins singing in the tree outside broke the quiet. At last Meg, without looking at her brother said, “I tried to read only when it was time to study history, but I just can’t seem to help myself. I wish I had more time to read. Or more inclination to do the other things. But sometimes I’d rather be outside in the garden than even reading.” She sighed.
Max stood up and gently pulled his sister’s hands away from her face. “I’d much rather study Latin than tug at those algebra problems, and if I let my mind be distracted by the Latin I wished I could be studying, I’d have low marks and Papa wouldn’t be very pleased. You love history and reading, Meg, but you also have other things to learn. You have to discipline yourself to focus on the thing at hand. Do one thing at a time, then, when you have extra time, you can enjoy all the more doing what you really like.”
For a moment Meg sat with her eyes downcast, not noticing the half finished drawing that lay before her.
“One thing at a time, Meggy,” Max repeated softly, using the pet name he had called his sister when she was small.
Giving a sigh, Meg looked up into her brother’s kind eyes. “It’s just so hard,” she whispered.
“Ask Jesus to help you, Meg. He will, you know.”
Meg nodded and straightened. “Thanks Max. Papa and Aunt Jane are too busy to talk with me like this.”
Stooping, Max reached under the shelf and pulled out the despised pencil. Handing it to his sister he said, “You finish your work and I’ll go finish algebra, then perhaps there will be time for a walk before supper.” And Meg bent over her paper with a smile.
Have you ever had the trouble Meg had?
What do you want posted next week?
Is there a story you think I should re-post?