When I was a teenager and got to use my family’s first personal computer to use for school assignments, one of the earliest clip art pictures that I remember using and identifying with was the picture of a man with too many hats. I was reminded of that particular picture today because it reminded me of my own life. This particular Feast of Tabernacles is one where I have been very busy as far as services themselves are concerned. Every day of the Feast of Tabernacles I have either played in the hymn ensemble with a borrowed viola courtesy of our music director or have sung backup with the choir for the opening hymns. I have sung in the choir or a vocal ensemble most days, and I am part of the youth choir, the instrument ensemble, and an a capella group that all have upcoming performances.
Ironically enough, in the a capella group I am singing a song that I had to learn this week because I was told I was too old for the group previously when the song was originally prepared for the Day of Atonement but they needed tenors so bad I got called in as a utility singer for the number. In addition to that, today and tomorrow I am on the ushering crew, which today involved rushing from a hymn to take a count of my section (which included quite a few acquaintances) and spending the festival video with a flashlight in my hand helping people along the passageways next to my section of seats in the dark. Also, I ended up signing up to help with volleyball for Family Day tomorrow for motives I would rather not discuss which were prompted by a recent BBQ spent with some friends in the area earlier this month.
So, why do I do this to myself? What would be the good about wearing too many hats? For one, keeping at least somewhat busy both provides the opportunity for fellowship while also providing others with a legitimate reason to be around me. Quite frankly, I’m the sort of person in the sort of situation where legitimacy is a necessary thing. Likewise, I’m also someone who probably needs to keep at least somewhat busy in order to keep myself out of trouble, which in some ways can be a difficult task. At times it is necessary to be busy in one task to avoid being busy in another task, because quite simply I am the sort of person who has a difficult time avoiding engagements or keeping my schedule from being too crowded, even though there needs to be enough time to ponder and reflect to avoid simply acting without thinking, which is generally a sure recipe for getting in trouble where trouble can be found. And trouble can always be found.
I am not the only person with this particular difficulty that I see. Some of us are very busy with various tasks because we have a wide variety of abilities and talents and because we cannot bear to let something be undone or done poorly simply we are already doing something else. There are some people who serve even though they are in very poor health in general, wishing to do something that makes them feel productive and useful. Some people just cannot be still, no matter the circumstance. Such people are not to be envied or hated. Perhaps they are to be pitied. It is a somewhat envious position to be among those who can sit at the feet and not feel it necessary to always be doing until one has no more time or energy left to act and simply must rest and recharge one’s batteries.
I’m not sure what the ultimate solution to this problem is. There are some people who do not know how they may serve, or what jobs need to be done, or what sort of skills that they would have in completing those tasks. Others simply have priorities that are more about personal enjoyment than serving others. To be sure, it is an important thing to have fun and enjoyment in one’s life, but a world that revolves around ourselves is a world that exists only in our own minds and vain imaginations. That said, there is no way that one person can do all that needs to be done either. Somewhere there is a balance, and I have to find it for myself as best as I can manage.