The art of killing birds
O blessed times, how complicated and complex you have become. You never fail to make new challenges to us. May we understand you better, and know how to handle you in such a way that we continue to pursue our proper goals in life without getting confused and lost.
These words come spontaneously to mind whenever I realize that my work is getting more exciting and challenging. In spite of trying my best to be sport in all this, I just can’t help but feel overwhelmed sometimes.
For a long time, I have been an avid fan of the idiomatic expression, to kill two birds with one stone. I have tried to live it out always, and to some extent, I have been successful.
But nowadays, it seems that killing two birds is not enough. With all the things I have to face—the challenges, the issues, the projects, the people, plus my own personal needs that also would get more complex with age—I need to kill many, many birds with just one stone as much as possible!
Of course, I have realized long time ago that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, are really not enough for me to be on top of everything. I just have to learn to live with that reality. But it should not stop me from trying to do what I know I have to do as much as I can.
Truth is there are so many people to reach out to and each one has to be understood and helped in his concrete situations and distinctive circumstances. I know I have to avoid dishing out generic pieces of advice and other blanket forms of help and support.
And I am sure that this predicament is not unique to my case but is rather shared by many people. We just have to learn how to cover a greater area of responsibility with more or less the same resources at hand.
What is clear is that we have to sharpen our virtue of order. Whatever helps in growing in that virtue should be pursued and cultivated. We have to have a good sense of focus.
This can mean that we develop the skills of making good use of time, organizing our day with clear vision of what we are supposed to do during the day, doing things with dispatch without unnecessary delays, learning how to shift from task to another without wasting too much time.
This can also mean that we have to know how to group more or less related tasks together so they can be done with some sense of synergy and save time and energy, how to prioritize things and delegate some tasks to others, how to make prudent use of technologies so they can truly help us in our work and not become distractions.
This can also mean that we know how to ignore certain things that can unduly interfere in our work, and these days, there are just so many of them. We also need to know how to be flexible as we can encounter surprises anytime. Also the art of moving on especially when we suffer some setbacks along the way. A good part of our problem is that we tend to get stuck with our failures and difficulties.
What to me is most important in this regard is to have an abiding presence of God, since after all everything has to be done for his glory. Besides, with God we tend to have a keen sense of order and propriety. With him we would find it easier to handle any situation, good or bad, without getting spoiled, diverted or stuck. We would have a good sense of direction.
In the end we would know that whatever happens, we are still playing along the all-wise providence of God!