Last night I was part of a discussion about how to grow our choir.  Our numbers fluctuate at times, but it seems like lately we’ve settled at the lowest participation rate that we’ve ever seen.  We tossed around a lot of ideas.  Should we change the time on the same night?  Should we meet on a different night?  Should we try weekends?  Would it even matter?

I don’t think that it’s that people don’t want to be there.
I don’t think it’s because people don’t enjoy it.
I don’t think it’s because people don’t care.
I think it’s because people are tired.

And this problem certainly isn’t exclusive to church choirs.
I see it in schools and hospitals and clubs and other organizations.

Our universe is (literally) constantly expanding.  Our world is (figuratively) constantly expanding.
And while our waistlines may literally be expanding, our physical capabilities are not. 

We want to contribute to every thing that is important to us
But we still have to sleep and have some time to recharge.

We are all involved in so many things
(some of them are really, really good things)
that it makes it hard to really be committed to any of them.

Because of our extensive obligations, we have lost the ability to joyfully say yes to things that we really want to do.
Because we find ourselves doing what has to be done, we aren’t allowing ourselves to enjoy what we want to do.
Because we struggle to keep up with everysinglelittlething, we aren’t able to sit and savor the moment.

And I think it’s killing us.
We think we are living, but are we?
Are we really living or are we merely surviving?

I am at a place in my life when I am craving simplicity.
We have cut back on going and doing and focused more on staying and being.
We have been much more purposeful about saying yes and no – to ourselves, to others, to things, to activities.
We have taken a step back to try and figure out not which things are most important,
(because there are so many important opportunities out there, it’s hard to decide which is most important)
but which things deserve our attention most.

We certainly don’t have it all figured out.
We sometimes waste our time and resources on things that we shouldn’t.
We sometimes lose focus on what is really most important.
We often get caught up in this society-of-yes that we live in.

But we are trying.
And I hope you will, too.

5 Responses to Commitment
  1. Traci
    April 19, 2012 | 10:26 am

    What a great piece. This is exactly what I have been thinking but I am not able to put into words…well not good yours! I am going to really try hard so that this baby’s first, cutiest, sweetest actions are not taken with a grain of salt or missed because I need to do somehting. Thanks again.

  2. Sarah
    April 19, 2012 | 10:46 am

    So so true Bridget! Especially with little kids! Any extra time Jonathan and I have we want to spend playing on the floor of the nursery with G or with each other, not running around doing lots of (wonderful but time consuming) activities.

  3. Jil
    April 19, 2012 | 12:35 pm

    This is why I needed a break from blogging. I know it is a small thing, but it was one thing I could give up. I enjoy reading your posts, but I don’t feel the pressure to come up with something to post about.

    I am now re-evaluating my work life to see if there are ways I can simplify so that I can enjoy my family more. I know I don’t have little ones, but it seems like it’s even more important to keep in touch with my children and support them.

    Great post! I totally agree!! Love you and appreciate your insight!!

  4. Pops
    April 19, 2012 | 3:23 pm

    When I hear someone say something about the “good ole days” two things come to my mind. First I remember one of my uncles that came up through the great depression saying that he didn’t want to go back because the “good ole days” for him was the present and second I now long for the “good ole days” of the time he was calling his “good ole days” when things were more simple and slower paced.

    I remember long before I was singing in the choir of having practice on a different night, in the home of the choir director, and it wasn’t that big of a hassle. As a matter of fact it was the one night during the week when the kids actually got to stay up later because the adults were not ready to go home at any given time. The choir would practice what was needed for the week and a few weeks ahead and then it would be time for fellowship and refreshments (coffee and cake or doughnuts). Then everyone would sit around and talk for a while or sing some of their favorite songs no matter how many times you had sung them the past few weeks. If you liked it then it was sung. That was a time when the choir was nearly always filled.

    Yes I do long for the “good ole days”!

  5. Christy
    April 22, 2012 | 8:35 pm

    You would enjoy a book called “the Art of the Commonplace ” by Wendell Berry. So, if you have the time to read, it is a great Sunday-afternooon-on-a-porch kinda book. But if not, you’ve got the gist anyhow. 😉