I'm writing this much later than I usually do. It's almost 5 p.m.; usually, I write these reflections in the morning, before I even leave for the office. But not today.
This afternoon I told a friend that I was very unproductive today. They asked me what I did today. My response: "Oh, I did some church office stuff, answered emails, prayed over my prayer list, made phone calls, met with a couple people, cooked 50 lbs of pork butts for our lunch tomorrow, made chicken soup for my family ealry this morning, chopped firewood..." Suddenly it sounded like I did quite a bit. And yet, I labelled the day as "unproductive." Why?
One of the gifts that Advent offers is the chance to gain a different perspective on what is important and what is productive. Sometimes productivity is important; other times it just serves as a self-gratifying ego-stroke to make us feel important. Was Jesus "productive?" By today's standards, most would answer in the negative.
What did Jesus do during his earthly ministry? He prayed. He taught. He healed a few folks. He trained a motley band of followers, most of whom deserted him, one of whom betrayed him. And yet, he changed the world.
Don't be so quick to judge your own productivity or put too high a price upon it. What will matter and what will last are the prayers you prayed and the relationships you fostered.