If I were to begin focusing my energy with Jude on learning 2nd grade math (he's 18 months old), what would you say to me? You wouldn't tell me that 2nd grade math is a bad thing for him to learn. You couldn't even call me a bad mother or say that I don't love my son. Math is a good thing to learn and something that will benefit him his whole life. But you should say something like, what's the rush and how important getting some other skills mastered first is. Let's work on saying 2 word phrases first, right? Yeah, it's just a waste of energy to neglect the simple building blocks of his development for a complex skill that, even if he were to grasp in some ways, wouldn't be all that helpful for a while.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, I feel like this has to do with everything I see right now. In our rush to be bigger, better, smarter, faster, wiser, richer, even more spiritual in some circles, there is a lot of neglect for simple building blocks of life.
To be independently wealthy, its highly unlikely that all you can get there in a few months, piggybacking on someone else's idea and hard work. Work. Make money. Save money. Repeat. Simple building blocks. The big ideas and huge opportunities, if they come, will come later.
To be faster - faster athlete, faster learner, faster success - you must be able to do whatever it is slower and do it well. Only then can you successfully perform faster. If you just try to do everything fast, you'll stumble, drop the ball, run into others because you weren't paying attention and ultimately fail. Slow down. Master. Speed up a bit. Repeat. Simple building blocks. Being quick in all areas may come, but not today and not without work.
To be wise or more spiritual does not demand fingers in every pie. Spiritual wisdom is not achieved by involvement in large projects, doing x number of good works and being skilled in Church Drama 101. I know its easy to think that it is, but that's like going to the gym every day, just watching. It doesn't make you any healthier. Sure you learn a few things, but health - spiritual or physical - is not achieved by osmosis. The sins and secret life we carry around, much like toxic fat, isn't going to just evaporate. And whether you feel it or not, it is poisoning your life. Self-reflect. Confess. Purify. Heal. Repeat. Start with simple building blocks. Without these, the rest is irrelevant.
I am tempted daily to DO so many things. Big projects to start, good works to maintain, wonderful wonderful things that most would applaud me for! And, like I said, they are good things. And maybe next week one or two will make it to my To-Do List. But do you know something? I make them pointless and irrelevant by the things I neglect. Things like my motives and attitudes towards those I am helping or others in need. Things like neglecting a bleeding marriage and disobeying direct commands to respect and honor my husband. Things like showing no regard for God's wisdom or opinions in how I spend my time, use my mouth or treat my family. The world debates over how to bring about peace, end hunger and positive change. I don't know the answer, but I know that if I abuse and neglect the things and relationships that I have the most control over, the simple building blocks, I'm much more of the problem than the solution.