Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

Sitting in Starbuck's this morning, I was able to start reading my fourth book of the summer.  Besides The Hunger games, which I was able to read at work, I have read two books (Heaven is Real and Digital Fortress) since I stopped working four days ago.  My long list of summer reading continues with The Road Less Traveled.  It has been on my list since I was asked by my friend Ben DeMarco last summer if I had read it.  I inquired about the title to my mom and sister and was surprised to know that my house already owned a copy of Peck's psychological take on "love, traditional values, and spiritual growth".  Three reasons that I decided to read it: Ben DeMarco suggested it; the title contains spiritual growth; and the first line of the book reads "Life is Difficult."  After a few brief pages, I decided that what I read and how I respond should be my new topic of blogging.  Because I always seem to find a message in any book, song, or movie that is meant to merely entertain, I assume I will learn a lot from a book that is meant to instruct.

My first thoughts are on the section about delaying gratification.  Since I recently finished college, I was struck when he discusses with a woman why she does the work she enjoys first and procrastinates from the not-so-enjoyable requirements of her career.  Her procrastination leaves her with one hour of good work and six hours of "walking uphill through the snow".  I laughed because when I had several assignments to do, I always liked to feel accomplished, so I did the easier or more enjoyable one first (usually a psych paper or reading).  Peck remins us that we should do the painful work first (try to finish it an that first hour), so that we can relish the next six hours of doing what we enjoy and are not tempted to procrastinate.

Delaying gratification is learned at an early age.  We always save dessert for last ("save the best for last") and parents give a weekly allowance and remind us that if we can save it for a few weeks, we can buy something bigger and better than spending that dollar each week.  These are the traditional values that don't happen as often anymore, but they are ones that I remember and cherish.  Maybe that's why it helps me to get in my workout in the morning (get it over with).  I enjoy my day more, knowing I've already done the hard part, and the rest of the day is freedom.

Speaking of freedom, yesterday was Independence Day (not only the fourth of July), and as an independent woman, I did what I wanted: shopped a few clearance racks, watched fireworks with some friends, and went to bed early (which I value).  As we remember and pray for our troops who give us freedoms on this earth, we must also remember He who gave us the ultimate freedom.  He didn't procrastinate.  He already did the hard part and blessed us with the easy part of choosing Him and being able to live the rest of our lives freely.  To Him be the glory!

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