Your Adventure Awaits…
by Tracy L. Higley
I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Time Management.
Don’t let my title fool you, however. In no way does it imply mastery! It’s only that I’ve tried every system, every planner, every online task-scheduling program known to mankind.
I love my job—writing suspense novels set in the ancient ruins of Greece, Egypt and Rome that follow adventurous men and women through desperate circumstances. But it’s a job that keeps me very busy. As a novelist and entrepreneur my life is often a jumble of tasks related to business, writing, marketing, family and so much more. Like you, I’m passionate about having an impact with my life, about following my own unique adventure and doing something great for God’s kingdom. But perhaps you can also relate—I have often felt overwhelmed, burned out, and unhealthy in my rush to “get it all done.”
And those time-management systems… do they suck you in with their promises of freedom, too? Like shiny new Christmas presents for awhile, until we find ourselves back in the same multi-tasking quandary, with never enough hours in the day, and if we’re truthful, more than a little anxiety and even anger at the way life seems to always be careening a bit out of control.
So, how do we pursue our own unique adventures, while maintaining balance and health in every corner of life? I don’t have a definitive answer, but I have learned some things through my own adventure, and I’m continuing to learn.
First, I’ve realized that “not enough hours in the day” is not only unbiblical, it points to a deeper issue of my heart, one I’d rather not address. For me, that strong need to perform, to achieve, to feel satisfaction from the work of my hands can easily go from a God-given part of my personality to an idol, an addiction, to a driving anxiety that whispers If you don’t get it all done, you’re a failure. Worthless. That’s the enemy of my soul speaking, and he knows exactly how to push my buttons. Too often I see myself through the eyes of others, defining my identity and assessing my value through what others think of me, whether they are impressed by what I’ve accomplished. But through all my systems to manage my tasks and get more done, one thing has become clear: No amount of time-management will ever free me from the idols of my heart. That’s an ongoing work of the Spirit, and one that only He can achieve. Not an easy truth for an over-achiever like me! To find that place of humility, where I am at the feet of Jesus asking Him to release me from those idols of achievement as only He can do, is so hard. It’s why I need the rescue of the gospel every single day.
And I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms of this derailing of my adventure: obsessive strategizing over how to get more done, numbing my anxiety with food and other distractions instead of truly resting, overcorrecting areas of imbalance which simply causes more imbalance, never giving myself time to enjoy life because I feel guilty when there’s so much work to be done. And then there’s the fear that all of my frantic activity to be a worthwhile and productive child of God might be focused around the wrong goals, someone else’s calling, worthless work—but who has time to think about such things?
I hope I’m not the only one who experiences these symptoms!
Perhaps it’s why I keep writing stories of people who need to break free from this bondage, who need to understand that rescue is possible, that a Rescuer awaits, and on the other side is a life of freedom and joy, of productivity that is filled with purpose, of fruitfulness and rest.
An adventure awaits each of us. A unique calling to live the story of our lives within the context of the larger Story, to pursue that calling with passion and risk and joyful abandon. We cheat ourselves when we get bogged down in performing and achieving to earn the favor of God and others. It’s a process, this recognizing of our over-striving, understanding how we got here, and breaking free of it. It starts with a deep understanding that we are already loved, completely and unconditionally. That we have been rescued from all those things that make us broken and unworthy. Scripture tells us plainly that God has qualified us “to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (Colossians 1:12-13) On the other side of bondage is balance and rest and the impact that following our adventure can have for His kingdom.
I’m hoping that the struggles I’ve shared here have resonated with you. Since I’m a storyteller, I love creating tales to entertain and inspire, even short ones, and I’ve written a short story just for people like us. I’d like to give it to you as a gift. It’s my way of walking the journey with you, and heaping on some inspiration for your own adventure. Just visit www.TracyHigley.com/MTL to dive into this free mini-adventure.
In the meantime, put away the to-do list long enough to take a breath, look around, and ask yourself if you’re truly living your adventure. It’s out there – waiting for you!
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored eleven novels, including Garden of Madness and the newly-released The Queen’s Handmaid, and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching her books and falling into adventures. She is thrilled to create stories set in the ancient past, and it’s her hope that in escaping with her, readers will feel they’ve walked through deserts, explored ruins, felt the white sand and blue sea under their feet and met with the Redeeming God who is sovereign over the entire drama of human history.
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