On my way home from dropping off birthday cupcakes at the elementary school, I drove past a friend's house. She'd been on my mind lately, and when I saw her sitting outside enjoying the spring weather I thought I should stop and talk to her.
I slowed down and waved out my car window. She smiled and waved back. But then I put my foot to the gas pedal and drove on. My son's birthday party was in a few hours, and I still had to finish cleaning, decorate a cake, and get things ready for the party games.
As I pulled into my driveway a heavy sadness fell over me. Why hadn't I stopped? Am I so busy, so self-absorbed, that I can't take a few minutes to stop and chat with a friend? Had I failed some kind of test? I dragged myself into the house and started cleaning, but all my energy was gone. Were my priorities messed up? I had to get ready for this birthday party! I wanted my son to have a really fun time. But if I'd cleaned and prepared yesterday, I wouldn't have felt so busy today. Tears pricked my eyes, sorrow weighed me down until I collapsed on the floor in the middle of all the toys and crumpled papers. In confusion and utter misery, I prayed, what do you want me to do?
Stopping to talk to your friend is good. Coming home to get ready for your son's birthday party is good.
THIS is not good.
I knew that "THIS" meant me having a fit of depression over it. I had made a choice between two good things, and I was making myself miserable because I was afraid I hadn't made the best choice. Laughing at myself, I got up again and got to work. My son and his friends were going to have a great time at the birthday party, and I could always call my friend later, or stop by another day.
So how does this apply to writing? Writing is good. Spending time with my husband and children is good. I should do both. But it is NOT GOOD to fling myself into depression because I'm afraid I spend too much time writing and neglect the beautiful family God has given me, or not enough time writing and neglect the wonderful gift God has given me. I need to seek balance joyfully.
Amen and hallelujah!