Can I possibly have time for all I have to do? And why do I feel the need to DO? What is it about the (majority of) humans that drives us to accomplish?
Merriam Webster has four definitions for the word accomplish:
1. to bring about (a result) by effort
2. to bring to completion : fulfill
3. to succeed in reaching (a stage in a progression)
4. a: to equip thoroughly b: perfect
That’s pretty deliberate stuff right there. To fulfill… To succeed…. To perfect… Is that even possible? With some things, yes. Through my efforts, I can fulfill my job to get dinner on the table. I can succeed at that, but it’s impossible to perfect it. Okay – my family would say that a perfect dinner would be chips & salsa, pizza, and ice cream, so, theoretically, it is possible to perfect that dinner. But likely? No. In the best interest of everyone? No, again.
Which begs the question – how much of what I am driven to accomplish really matters? If the end run is to “equip thoroughly,” or perfect, and I can’t do that, then is what I’m trying to achieve significant?
As “just a mom” most of the time, I’d have to say that I ask myself the above questions all the time, and my answer is usually a resounding “NO!” I know we all feel our lives don’t matter, and most of what we manage to bring to fruition during our alloted 24 hour day is rather paltry. We feel what we do goes unseen by our families, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. I know I can spend the majority of my day doing laundry, putting dishes in – or out of – the dishwasher yet again, taking out the trash, the dogs, putting away another, and then another pair of shoes. Like the day before, I continue de-cluttering, spending time in the schoolroom attacking Latin, pre-algebra, and history. I keep doing almost the exact same thing as I did yesterday. And the day before.
Unlike Angelina Jolie, who is an “ambassador” to the UN, a full-time mom of almost 6, a style icon, and a world-renowned actress, nobody is pointing at me as a model citizen, and someone they’d like to emulate. I bet she’s one of those people who can go to bed at night feeling like they’ve made a difference in not just a few lives, but the lives of many. I definitely can’t say the same. I go to bed at night wondering if I’ve made any difference! I wonder if I’ve accomplished a single thing…
There’s a popular story and illustration circulating on the web that we are all building cathedrals – doing great things that no one can yet see. I get that. So if no one can see, I’m back to my original question: why do I feel the need to DO; why do I want to accomplish anything at all?
I believe the answers to those questions are quite simply, God. He sees us and fulfills, equips thoroughly, and perfects His will through us. Because we are relational, and our desire, although often hidden from even ourselves, is to be in perfect relationship with Him, we desire to DO. For Him. That’s it. All of it. That’s the reason – the only reason (or should be) why we do anything. To please Him. To be in relationship with Him.