My children and I play a hilarious video game called Overcooked. It’s a multiplayer game, most fun when three or more players work together as a team. The goal in each level is to cook and serve meals to customers in a restaurant.
But your kitchen isn’t just any kitchen. Every few seconds, your ingredients and appliances slide away to a different location. Mice skitter across the kitchen and steal your food. Random fireballs spew out from the hearth and start blazes on the floor and countertops.
Alarms are going off everywhere, warning you that your food is burning. Sometimes your food catches fire and you have to put it out. Angry patrons storm off and charge you a fine if you delay too long in serving their orders or bring them the wrong dish. In our rushed panicking to keep on top of everything, we often get into each other’s way.
We’ve had a ton of belly laughs playing that game. But as I considered my life towards the end of the year, I stopped laughing when it hit me that I sometimes—*cough* often *cough*—run my life like a session of Overcooked. I homeschool our four children, work a 20-hour-a-week part-time job and write novels, in addition to trying to keep our home in some kind of order.
Sometimes, I manage my affairs in crisis mode, lurching to whichever task seems the most alarming. And yet very important things, such as spending time in prayer, building myself up in the Lord, and reading my Bible, don’t scream loudly at me. So, it’s easy to drop them in order to cram in one more “urgent” task.
My response is to plan more! At the last count, I had four planners.
In fact, I have a planner that helps me plan how to use my planners.
But while planning is a useful tool in getting my life under control, it’s only one small part of everything. I’m doing my best to live according to Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That puts all my “stuff” into perspective.
My life lessons often tend to bleed into whatever book I’m writing, and that’s once again the case. The main character in my new project has spent her life chasing after things, and forgetting what she really needs is to rest in God. It’s only when all these “things” come crashing down that she realises that only one “thing” is needful, and that thing will never be taken away.
Have you ever been so busy that it feels like you’re chasing your tail? What helped?