For a long time I’ve known about personality tests. A colleague at work even recommended that I try one out. I just didn’t realize that there’s a whole system behind it – an institute, lessons, studies and even comprehensive logic behind each of the 9 personality types. The Enneagram of Personality. I was reading through an article by one of my favorite writers when I came across this and decided to finally look more into it, and a lot that she says resonates with me, now more than ever. Suffice to say, I did see parts of myself in The Peacemaker (P.S: Relating to this personality type does not mean I ascribe to the Enneagram vibe) and I have to agree that this showed me areas where God will always be at aggressive work in my life.
I tend to have a different way of working through the seasons of the year than some of my friends do. And just as it is for some, it is always October and not January, Fridays and not Mondays that feel like the start of something good. Not necessarily because great gains and grand plans discourage me. I just approach them with the extra care that is, in a way, meant to preserve things as they are and work with what I can already see. So I tend to do a lot of my yearly reflection, recalibration, scheduling, goal-setting and forward planning at the oddest season of the year 😀 Works differently for everyone, I guess.
Recently, a lot of my ‘structure’ has had to change. One such area is in my abilities, talents and skills. I have had to set new expectations for myself and keep up with a new kind of pace that cuts across my work, spirituality and relationships. I don’t believe I have to have all the answers to everyone’s problems, or that I can meet everyone’s expectations. What I believe though, is that I can do my best for each day that I’m alive. I have been taught to live one day at a time this month.
“The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived – not always looked forward to as though the “real” living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.” ~Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me be a Woman
I am learning to pace myself, and not respond to everything immediately. To learn through things – everyday mistakes, people’s experiences, details that pop up at the most unexpected times, new discoveries and responsibilities that I have. We live in a fast-paced competitive world. The race to ‘achieve’ greater and bigger things could easily blur one’s focus and lead us to seek validation in the vainest things. The rate at which work emails come in remind me often enough, that we’re all being inundated with messages daily and we have to learn to navigate them as humans and have checks and balances in place. This month, I have been taught to approach communication purposefully, intentionally, and with awareness.
“The faithful performance of today’s humble task will enable me to accept tomorrow’s assignment.” A close friend recently said to me that life is good, and God requires today only the work of the day. And I agreed with her; the goodness of life is usually about our perspective and less about our circumstances. The willing mind, the earnest purpose, will go forward. He has promised grace according to our need, and that gives me hope. I had such a hard time facing the task ahead of me when I recently took up a new role. The shoes to fit in were big (still are) and I was second-guessing my ability to deliver, match up and soar. While having a chat with a workmate, she told me: “Ask yourself each morning who you’re doing this for, and why?” The answer to that compels me towards faithfulness, even in the performance of little duties. Clarity. This month, I have learned to take up the shoes of responsibility and wear them faithfully.
I have found more of friendship in the old ones than in the new ones. Being such a transient world, it’s much harder to hold onto friendships as I grow older. But I’ve grown to see that there’s purpose in that too. The older I grow the more I cling to the fewer friends I have, and I’m now allowing myself to patiently grow into new ones. To stop being a fickle, selfish lover. To be present and caring ESPECIALLY when it feels uncomfortable and inconveniencing. Granted, some will hit it off right off the bat. Others will not. And that’s okay. There’s beauty in that too. In October I learned to love differently.
I have found more of God in the quiet seasons than in the loud, ‘flowery’ seasons of my faith. More of faith in its absence than in its presence. I hope to say yes to a lot more than I have this month, to listen more and act more. To be more deliberate and faithful in the mundane as in the big tasks. To keep growing out of my comfort zones. And to truly love. I learnt to affirm my ‘yes’ in October.
“Find a way to say ‘yes’ to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.” ~Eric Schmidt.