A calendar is designed as a way for us to keep order in our lives. Without the daily numbering system and the change in the days into weeks and weeks into months, we’d have no way to track ourselves. I thought about that this morning as I was making out a check to pay a bill. Once again the filing system is set up for the monthly bills. It is a way of tracking what we spend and when we spend money.
When I was at Loyola’s School of Ministry in New Orleans, I remember being encouraged to let the process of taking things in order work for me. I was younger and wanted things done quickly. I am not sure I have changed completely, but I do understand the wisdom in order and time. We were to read, follow a syllabus, and do the lessons on a schedule according to the academic calendar provided. By the end of the term, ideas and concepts fell into place. We were being taught not only content, but a way of learning that would be of value forever.
Ever since that time, those words “let the process work for you” have helped me through daily events. Stop, look, and proceed with caution. When I see a long term goal or a far away date, I reflect on the advantage of using the process set in place work for me, not against me. Applying this principle has been a big help. I will mark my calendar clearly so I can track how I am advancing.
Sometimes cutting time or skipping steps toward what we see as an advantage isn’t good. It is good to make the most of minor moments and build on them. Learning to read instructions is also a process that may protect us from harm. We are taught to read for a reason. Whether it is a warning on a gasoline pump or instructions for using a lawnmower, directions keep us safe.
Directions help us fill out our tax papers and pay our bills. Steps on assembling a chair insure it will withstand a heavy person or a child jumping on it. Reading and processing goes beyond directions and calendars, but the time and the strategies of monitoring our progress forward is noteworthy. It is important that we do not ignore the smallest of details, for they may insure safety and be teaching us some skill we’ll need in the future.
Skills that we practice daily help us to learn them. We gain confidence and can aid other people when we know our crafts and professions well. We need to buoy up our vocabularies, engage with other people verbally everyday, and write meaningful notes to each other. Start the month of January off to a good practice of reading, writing, and tracking your progress. Note the smallest steps toward staying well. Mark off the money you have saved with coupons or cutting back. Note your time in prayer. Use the calendar as a guide and friend in pursuing your New Year Goals. Have a great New Year 2018.
Remember that “one step may put you on the escalator of success!”