*Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here. This October, I am taking part in a series based on this called “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes”, in which we commit to writing from the prompt as usual, but everyday rather than just on a Friday. Read more here.
Where do you get your sense of worth from?
I’ve heard it said that if we want to know what our priorities truly are, whatever we may tell ourselves, we should look at our calendars. Where do we allocate our time? Where do we exert our energy? Who – or what – do we serve?
Often it is in looking at our diaries that we start to understand where our worth comes from. Maybe it is the extra time at work that is above and beyond our commitment there, in the hopes of promotion for the sake of promotion, or fear that we may be found ‘worthless’ and lose the job we have. Perhaps we love our job and so justify spending excess time there, but don’t realise that it is to the detriment of our family or prayer or relationships because of the worth and sense of self we have tied up in that work.
Maybe it is the over-scheduling of meet ups with friends or extended family or hours of filling up our days with activities or volunteer efforts. These are great things to invest in, of course, but do we do it because it is right, because we are called to it, because it is a gift of self, or do we do it simply because we think we should, or it makes us feel good, feel important, feel worthy? Do we think we may be of less worth to others if we don’t? Is the busyness affecting the things we claim to prioritise – our prayer, our time with our spouse and children, our rest?
Maybe it is the very emptiness of our diaries that hints at ‘wasted time’ and seeking worth in escape – browsing the internet, Facebook, TV shows. There is nothing wrong with rest and relaxation, with retreating for a while to re-energise, but are we doing it to excess? Is anything more important suffering as a result?
I wish I could say that my diary reflects my priorities – that I find my worth primarily in God shown in my time spent in prayer, that the rest of my time displays my commitment first to my husband and children, and then to wider family, friends, work and ministry.
Sadly, this is all too rarely the case. I regularly seek my worth in escapism, in overcommitment and over-scheduling or busyness, in trying to please others. And I am never satisfied. It is never enough. I forget that “every need is not my calling”. The contrast of busyness or isolation engulfs me and I feel the opposite of what I seek – there is a lack of worth, a loss of identity.
On some rare occasions I get it right – my day is rooted in prayer and thanksgiving, and my worth is sought in God.
Funny how those days are always the great ones, even if nothing different happens…