Yesterday I woke up and felt ready. Unlike many of the days in this last week, I woke up feeling prepared to take the day by the reigns and get things done. I think partly because Saturdays tend to be more rewarding days and because all of the work is followed by a day off.
Who knows why I woke up feeling prepared, but it led me to work out and then high tail it to the classroom. There was a lot to be done.
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Looking back on the day, I think the feeling of preparedness was mainly a head trip. It was a pretty good head trip until things started to go wrong. The class computer wouldn’t get online. Then once I got it to go online, it wouldn’t connect to the printer so that I could print out all the work I had to work on. Thankfully a staff person came in earlier than usual and helped me figure out how to connect my laptop to the printer…. but then this process also took a while because I had to install drivers.
And the clock was ticking….I’m not sure if I can convey this accurately, but the work we do on each book is due at a very specific time. They say “there are no late books”, by this they mean that if the assignment isn’t turned in by the official turn in time, a significant amount of points are taken off the final grade. This is not as pressing as the reality that once one book is due, the next time on the next book begins to count down. So really? If I don’t have something finished by the turn in time then I turn it in as is and move forward. 66 books is too many books to start getting behind in.
By this point I actually just felt angry. And my “on top of it” feeling was draining out. While the driver was installing I went outside and read the Psalms for this week out loud. The first one I read was Psalm 35 and, appropriately enough, it’s an Imprecatory Psalm. So reading that aloud helped a bit with my anger. Then I printed things out and started working.
You know that feeling, when you’ve been driving for 10 or 12 hours- you are done driving- you have nothing in you to keep going but you have to because you’re still two hours from your destination and there is no place to stop? This is how I have felt doing my charts the last week. Yesterday I had two books to do. They were small books, but each step takes about an hour. By the time I got to working I did not have enough hours for each task.
I don’t think this is an ideal state of mind for studying the Bible.
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Scott, one of the staff guys (who is awesome) came in and asked me how I was doing. I was finishing up one book to get started on the next and I let him know that I had less than two hours to do more than two hours of work. He very kindly encouraged me, quickly prayed for me and left.
His wife, Rachael (who is also awesome) came in about 20 minutes later. She’s the school leader. She asked me how I was doing and I think I just told her where I was at, trying to keep my voice from hysterical octaves.
She asks “What is the most important thing right now?“. Without looking up from my paper I said “FINISHING THIS CHART“.
I’m clearly mental by this point.
Very calmly she corrects me. “Peggy, that is not the most important thing”. She comes over and gets in my space and I am on the verge of tears and I say “Crying right now is not going to help me finish this!!!” At the same time, I partially realize what a lunatic I am. So I turn around and she hugs me and now I am really nearly sobbing into her shoulder because I AM SO TIRED and I just want to finish.
She asks me why I’m doing this school and I think I said “to know God” and then I think I blathered about how I’m so tired and I’ve been pushing so hard that all I can do is barely hang on and I don’t want to give up because that’s what I’ve done in the past and I have to hang on. I have to hang on.
She told me to stop working on the chart, move to application and ask God what He wants to say to me through this book (Jude). So I did that and I think I cried my way through all of the application steps. I’m not sure I made any sense in what I wrote.
I say all of this to share where I’m at. I’m going to add another post to this to talk about partnering with God because I think that is really what He wants me to learn through all of this.
The story of yesterday? What it looks like when I’m trying to do it all myself.