Monday, November 11, 2013


Yesterday (Sunday, November 10) I had a wonderful day that included a run with a training partner with whom I had not run in three months, teaching about the Beatitudes, preparing a homemade stromboli, and mass.  All four of these are part of what I think about when I consider Maslow's triangle--ranging from shelter, safety, and food up to self-actualization.

In particular, I was thinking about the issue of self-actualization during mass.  The worship band that I played with off and on for seven years, is now down to about seven people--two guitars, a drummer, a piano player, and three singers.  One of the singers does extra percussion sometimes.  And all but the drummer sing.  Still, the group sometimes jokes that it is now "20 More Days" rather than "40 More Days" since it is about half the size it used to be.

As I was singing along with the band as part of the congregation, I was considering whether I miss playing my bass.   I decided that there was really no question.  I do miss playing my bass.  But I also asked, what would I miss more?

Would I miss playing my bass more than teaching Sunday School?  No.

Would I miss playing my bass more than all the baking I do?  No.

Would I miss playing my bass more than running?  No.

On the running issue, yesterday was a particularly good day for running.  I was out on the NCR trail.  The trail was soft and somewhat soggy in places.  The running was soft on the knees and muscles and other joints.  We ran an 8 minute mile pace--a very comfortable pace compared to most of the training we had every done together.  There were colorful fallen leaves on the trail.  I met my training partner just as the sun was rising.  It was a beautiful morning. 

All three of baking, running, and teaching are more important to me than bass playing.  I had to give up something, so I gave up playing bass in the worship band.

Maybe I will return to playing bass at some point.  Maybe just for fun.  Maybe for a worship band again.

Or maybe I will finally learn to play the mandolin.

I guess it is a "first world problem" to have to choose which of several things that could all be important for self-actualization are the ones I will choose to continue and the ones I will choose to give up.

I have only ever commented that running is what I do to reach the top of Maslow's triangle--particularly contrasting it with running for basic safety and food.

As I think about my choice, baking is something that was traditionally for the lowest level of Maslow's triangle.  I am now doing it as part of my self-actualziation as well.  I find myself feeling a sense of fulfillment with my baking.

I also think that I achieve fulfillment in my teaching.  Being involved in the educational process is what I was meant to do in my career and in my work with the church.

It is so interesting to think about how all the pieces of life fit together and what brings fulfillment and what does not.  And what brings more and what brings less.  And how I have made choices and how I will continue to make choices.  It reminds me of the verses in Ecclesiastes about a time for things and a time not for things.  I have determined it is not the time for music.  It continues to be the time for other sings.

So it goes.   

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