Its amazing how little work I do when I go to work. Most Mondays, I start the morning off at Jireh Home around 9:30 with a list of things I need to do for the week. First I list the people I should respond to for letters/emails, which is getting quite long. Then I normally make a shopping list of things I need to buy in town – usually peanut butter, maybe some stamps, bread if I’m feeling ambitious. After the things I need, I go over English plans, and figure out what work I need to do for that. Normally I’m a few days ahead for English class, so by the time I’m done with my need for control, one of my friends on staff will invite me to do something.
So I spend the rest of the morning usually lying on the ground in the living room watching some sort of movie, playing scrabble, or just sitting. Yeap. I go to work to lay on the floor for at least two hours before someone decides they are hungry. And then after lunch we sleep for an hour before English class. And I always pull out my notebook or a book to pretend I am going to write a letter, or postcards, or read deep, intelligent things. But I never do any of that. Instead I am just surprisingly present in the moment.
I always tell myself I will get stuff ready to go to town early in the week. I will have the English papers ready to copy, the letters/postcards addressed and stamped, the shopping list finalized and memorized, the pizza hut coupon secure in my wallet. But when my friends decide they need to go to town, nothing is ever ready. I just grab some money and follow them, eager to see where we end up.
Yesterday, when I was hoping to plan most of next week’s English class, I took a detour to town and we spent an hour hanging out at KFC, eating so much really good fried chicken, singing to music from my friend’s fancy new phone, and laughing so much. Nothing got checked off of my list. But we laughed, giggled, talked about boys and had fun. Perhaps productivity has nothing to do with the number of things you check off your list.
Here in Sabah, I don’t worry about the things I am supposed to be doing. I don’t worry about the letters I don’t write, the birthday postcards that are literally two months late, the English class planned with no details. And I’m learning that’s okay. I’m learning that my best English classes happen when I read the kid’s moods and plan while we correct homework. I’m learning that everyone back home still loves me despite the constant lack of communication. And I’m learning that living a full life has nothing to do with checking things off a full list. I’m learning to let go of all control of my day. Learning that it is best to leave the details to the One who always knows what is best for me.