The Orange Slate

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When Paths Part

November 1, 2012

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This is an honest post, one of those posts that I wonder if I should publish, that I may well regret. But it’s about something important and something that, I think, we should all talk more about. It’s about time and people and choices

More and more I’m realizing how true is is that there is not enough time, that there are too many choices, that one can’t do it all. There really aren’t enough hours in the day to

do well at work

make beautiful food

write enough

read enough

do my homework

build my freelance portfolio

laugh with my boyfriend

return all of those emails

talk with my mom and sisters

giggle with my girlfriends

keep up with my brothers

be a good hostess

explore my city

do my laundry

practice the piano

go to the grocery store.

Our time is pressed into a bottle, shaken, and the heavy things, sink to the bottom and stick. I want to choose everything and hold on to everyone.


The realization that time and life are limited is a painful lesson. 


Acknowledging my own finite-ness, my own insufficiency to reach out in all directions at once is a lesson I am slow to learn. But I am realizing that, whether or not I do it knowingly, I am insufficient.


I cannot do it all or reach them all.


There are people I hold on to no matter what, no matter how difficult. No matter how tired I am or how many deadlines loom or how many work emails are lighting up the screen of my phone, I will still make time to make a meal and drink wine and laugh until I’m out of breath and talk on the phone late at night with those I love. 


And then there are the things I let go.


The friends I wish I had more time for, the ideas that I can’t make time for today, the books I want to read but can’t squeeze into the already overflowing day, the emails and texts left unanswered, a glaring reminder every time I open my phone or inbox that I am not enough.
Feelings of guilt haunt me in the form of to-do lists, reminders, and mental checklist. I will send her a birthday card, return his text, answer that email, donate to their trip. But I don’t and I can’t and finally, I admit to myself, I probably won’t ever. Some things will remain forever on that “ought to, need to, should” list if I let them.


But then the whisper comes.


“My grace is sufficient.”


I am not, but He is. I can’t be all place, but He already has been. I have my place and my time and my days and I am called to be faithful. The rest must be given up to Christ. There is no other way.


And so, the answer lies in trust.


I must trust God with the people I cannot reach, the places where I cannot go, the time I cannot create. I trust for the places where paths cross and then I must trust for the places where those paths part. 

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  1. Madeline, thanks for all of your input, too! Glad you like the new format.
    Breanne, so glad you were encouraged! Thanks for the comment.

  2. A hard realization, but isn’t it so freeing to own that the things you are doing are the things you CHOSE to do, and the things you aren’t doing just weren’t your top priorities? And there is nothing wrong with that! It makes life feel so much more purposeful. You are a very good writer!

  3. Gwen, you are so right. There is such a feeling of relief when I admit that I can’t – and so, I don’t have to – try so hard. That I can just sit back and relax and enjoy the things I can effect. Thanks for the encouragement and the comment!

  4. Thank you, Emily. You put into words a subject that drains my energy and sometimes my joy – dwelling on the things I wish I could do ,but must let go for now because my work at hand must come first. “My grace is sufficient.” You don’t have to answer this!!

  5. Thanks for the post, Emily! I feel much the same, not guilty about it anymore. I *wish* I had more time for people, but I can’t even seem to find enough time for my family back in Texas, much less for lots of extra friends.
    It’s like multi-tasking or reading a huge list of books; at some point, you just have to focus on one or two rather than reading ten pages from each book.

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