Are You Paying But Not Showing Up?

I got this! I looked on their website and I love all of the classes and what they offer. I even put it in my calendar to help me remember. When I first got married my hubby and I decided that we should join the gym. We went in, read the paperwork and signed the contract saying we would pay the monthly dues whether we showed up or not. We went religiously for a few months, and then we started not showing up all that regularly, and then not at all claiming many different reasons, but all really pointing to where our priorities lied at the time. We still had to pay that monthly due though. We learned it was easier to pay the dues than it was to show up.

Fast forward about a year, we didn’t show backup to the gym, instead we were able to have a friend buy our contract from us. When we signed up we really believed we could make it work, we were young, without kids and all the time in the world to do what we wanted. Our priorities were not set right though. Almost as if we bit off more than we could chew. I wish I could say that this was the last time I “paid for something and didn’t show up”. It may not have been with just money that things were paid for. More often than not it was time that was the currency, it was commitment, it was my peace.

When I was still in the mindset that I had all the time in the world, I would sign up to any and every activity or workday that my high school youth group planned. It was just something I did and I enjoyed doing whatever it was. In college it seemed time was a thing that was slowly going away even though there was still 24 hrs in the day. Work and school took a lot of time and I will admit there were nights when I really, really wanted to call in “sick” so I could spend more time with friends. Time becomes more valuable than money. Especially when it there just isn’t enough of it. Every time I get home from work I realize this fact. I end up not having enough time to listen to the different stories the kids tell me, when there is also schoolwork, dinner, and sleep. So what do you do? I actually had to acknowledge the fact that there is not enough time, accept it and then work to make the important parts of my life the priority.

This past month my daughter and I just received our “clearance” to start volunteering in the children’s ministry at church. I had to have a background check and both Tabby and I had to meet with the directors. One of the things they asked was how many Sundays did we want to work and if I wanted to teach. Tabby got off easy with being a helper. This came down to how much I wanted to commit to. My weekends are “sacred”. I finally don’t have to work on Saturdays….thanks Tawnia, so that means I have two days of “freedom” and I am being asked how much of that freedom to I want to commit to give away. Sounds easy enough except I don’t want to go down the road of “paying and not showing up”. Kids are amazing little creatures and are fun to be around as well as teach, so I committed to two Sundays a month and teaching on one of those Sundays. So far so good. It’s actually such a relief to show up and not do much of anything but be with the kids and enjoy the world through their eyes. If you haven’t tried it, your missing out of the imaginary tea you can have with your chocolate syrup balloon.

Peace all too often it can go away with the environment you find yourself in. Don’t believe me? Try waking up in the morning and while walking out to the living room to read you devotion you get asked 10 different questions in a 10 second time frame from your 10 year old son whose been up for the last half housing waiting for the whites of your eyes to show up. Nope, no peace there. Peace is a currency that can buy the most wonderful moments and can be filled with a joy that is a deep down to your soul joy. Peace is a currency you show be very careful in spending, when you give up some of your peace it should be for something very important. Sadly we tend to trade peace for worry. I am a huge culprit for this. I want to hold on to the peace I receive when I pray for my kids, my family, my marriage, but then worry comes creeping in the back door and steals from my bounty. Crazy thing is, peace also finds its way into parts and pieces of my life by just being in the moment, turning off the phone, TV, noise. Peace definitely follows and finds me in the woods, in nature. It finds me in the quiet of prayer.

Just as it is silly to pay for a gym membership and not show up to workout, it is also silly to spend your own personal currency on things and people that are not worth showing up to. I still wish I had more time, I hope that when I make a commitment people know I will stick to it, and peace is powerful. The more you have of it the more joy you will have as well. Until next time:

For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work,patience,love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service

John Burroughs

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