Brenda’s Blog – February 10, 2015
“My entire life is ‘have to.’”
Steve Martin’s woeful response in Parenthood struck a chord with me. For the last few years I have worked on a discipline: changing my language replacing have-to with get-to. It is so easy to slip into the habit of thinking life falls into have-to categories: I have to get to church; I have to pick up the grandkids; I have to eat dinner. Funny, I don’t think I ever say, “I have to eat some chocolate!”
When I realized how negative this sounded to myself and to others, I began the exercise of translating my language to match my heart’s feeling. I love to go to church; I adore picking up the grandkids; and nobody likes dinner more than I do. So how did I fall into such a sloppy pattern?
I think I gave into the “oh, how busy I am” lifestyle. I immersed myself in the multitasking style. When that happens, good things become duties. How sad!
Then I stepped back and looked at the privilege of being a part of others’ lives. I looked at the joy of participating in my life. So, I shook my finger at myself and did some self talk arriving at this conclusion: “Life is a precious privilege and I am thankful for all I get to do.”
Beverly Sills, the world-renown operatic soprano, was once at a pre-concert cocktail party. She prepared to leave saying, “I have to go sing at the Met so I will leave you all.” Then she stopped almost mid-sentence correcting herself. “NO, I GET to sing at the Met.” Big difference, isn’t it?
As leaders of families, ministries, companies, and communities, we often make to-do lists that devolve into have-to lists. We must continually train our minds and hearts to know these are opportunities granted to us as blessings.
I want to be a get-to person, don’t you?