Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Limitations; or, the sequel to "determination or pigheadedness?"

Sometimes, friends, we must take a step back and ask ourselves if the pursuit that we are engaged in is truly worth the effort that we are putting into it, the pain that it may cost us, the time and energy that it is taking away from other things.

Naturally, sometimes the answer is "Yes, absolutely. It's hard [or might seem frivolous, for some examples I might mention] but it's worth it because . . . " you love it, or you're doing it for someone that you love, or it is for the betterment of mankind, or it relaxes you so you can go back to work more healthily, or you and your friends take an innocent enjoyment in it, or it is a worthwhile pursuit for the improvement of your character, or it is necessary for the fulfillment of your responsibilities.

What happens, though, if you realize something isn't worth it? If you realize that your effort is too great compared to any benefit that you or anyone else could derive from it? If you realize that the price you are paying in health or happiness is too great? If you realize that, in comparison to something else you could be pursuing, it is a waste of your time and energy, or a throwing away of the gifts that God has given you?

Or, to bring this to a specific (but not precisely cosmic in scope) example, and explain how it is a sequel to the previous post: what if I am realizing that my body personally, despite at first seeming to accept the additional strain with surprisingly good grace, is simply unwilling to allow me to routinely (even as little as once a week) stay up well past midnight getting things done without exacting a painful tax in return?

Accepting that limitation is difficult for me. I have a sense of responsibility to get certain things done by tomorrow, but I understand that my body is sending me the message, in no uncertain terms, that I, personally, should not stay up late right now. What if it means I don't finish the assignment? What if it means I have to ask for grace from a teacher? What if it means [gasp] admitting weakness and a certain level of irresponsibility (why didn't I do it ahead of time?)?

So be it. Yo no soy sin falta. Soy un ser humano.

1 comment:

  1. My dad would always talk to me about "the law of diminishing returns" most of the time this was when I was spending 2 hours scrubbing the shower: the amount of work you put in is not worth what you get out of it.
    I realize that you were going on a different tact with that, but that's what I thought of in the beginning, so I thought I'd share.