That which I don’t want to do, I do.

I have turned into a regular contributor at It’s a great place to be.

A week and a half ago, I wrote about Andrew. More accurately, I’ve been writing about Andrew for three months. But a week and a half ago I wrote about looking at his ability, at times, to play much better than I can play, to take breaks from work and crash. I wrote the post at midnight on Sunday, May 18.

The next day I spent at a conference. I led prayer at a couple of points and ended up apologizing to a college for an attitude of aggravation I’ve had for several years (Yes, to a whole college). As I sat down for supper, I realized that I had eaten the previous two meals standing up. I spent the evening at a meeting, getting home at 11:45 pm.

The next day I spent at the conference again, and then had a meeting. I got home about 7:00 pm for supper. I didn’t quit for bed until 12:23 am.

I got up at 5:30 for a meeting at 6:30, and then called the other person to cancel before heading back to bed with a migraine.

I spent the day on the sofa.

I’ve written before about my self-induced migraines. In fact, I was pretty specific about the problem:

1. They remind me of how out of balance I get. For some odd reason, my migraines show up when I’ve been pushing too hard and not keeping a sabbath. I’m not Jewish, but I still have the same command to keep one day in seven for God. Some seasons of the year or of my life I don’t “remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” I keep working. I don’t stop. I Push on with good things. But when is a good thing not a good thing? When something else is what you are supposed to do.

For the last three weeks, the weekends have been busy and the Mondays haven’t been clear. And I pay the price. Not because God is judging me. But I think because I’m built for balance and I’m not keeping that balance.

Ironically, on Sunday night I identified the problem of not stopping while writing about Andrew. On Monday night, we talked in our meeting about the drivenness that we have, and the need to rest. In a post on Monday I talked about the need for the “ruthless elimination of hurry.”

And yet, I kept going until my body made me stop in a pretty ruthless way.

The cost?

  • I didn’t follow up on comments on the GNMParents post, comments that were pretty accurate in pointing to the need to listen to Andrew and to stop.
  • A meeting didn’t happen which would have help with some relationships.
  • A memo didn’t get sent on time which, while not earth shattering, didn’t help us with some efforts to be proactive.
  • My head hurt.
  • I laid around while Nancy did the work getting us ready for a trip.

I’m not looking for sympathy here at all, nor for a sense of “yes, we all do things that aren’t consistent.”

The truth? I have a responsibility to take simple steps to say yes to the things that are essential and to say no to the things that get in the way of the essential. And if I don’t, it is, for me, sin.

Little steps. Small decisions about rest and balance. Not checking email constantly. Not writing one more thing. Not worrying about one more task. Just doing the task. Just taking the step. Just sitting down.

If this were a good and helpful post, I would make a list of 8 ways that I am going to change. But this isn’t that kind of post. It is a repentance post. It is a “Stop going that way, start going the other way” kind of post. It’s a “I’m taking a day off” post. It’s a “time to do what I say I believe” post.

You know what I mean?


5 responses to “That which I don’t want to do, I do.

  1. It’s so easy for this to happen Jon. Thanks for putting it into words.


  2. i have a husband that shares your habits.

    i have the worst work ethic ever
    i quit jobs if they were too stressful or annoying
    i quit school when it gave me anxiety attacks
    etc etc
    but now i wonder
    if i was just keeping a good balance for me

    chris will come home somedays and look around and ask
    “what did you do all day?”
    and my answer is “Kept sane.”

  3. I love this image.

    “Kept sane.”

    Thank you.

  4. I get muscle tension migraines – some of which is from being a victim of 7 car accidents – some is total chemistry – you have a good awareness of what triggers your migraines – If you ever want to chat about ways to help, it’s my area of expertise. I’d be honored

    also I am celebrating my blogs first birthday and need guest authors in june and july

    care to pick a date and help ?–guest-authors-needed–wanted-actually-karen-hanrahan.aspx

  5. [waving] Hi Jon! I actually met you briefly while you were talking to Karen/Mother Earth at SOBCon. I didn’t make the connection between you here and over at GNMParents (where I am a contributor as well) until reading this post. Small world! 🙂