I’ll say it. I like to work.

Maybe too much. It has been a struggle for me in the past several years to find the balance between work and family. I get caught up in a project very easily, and to interrupt a “flow” or a “groove” is intensely difficult to cope with.

I fear losing momentum because I know it is hard to regain. I feel the overpowering urge to pounce on the unique opportunity of inspiration when it strikes, aware that it might not come around again.

But what I fear even more is the idea that my children might grow up remembering that their father never had time to play with them, and when he did, it was done reluctantly and viewed as an inconvenience. I constantly worry that I am not doing enough to teach them the things they need to know, or spending enough time helping them understand the world. I am horrified by the thought of my wife feeling neglected and ignored. I am terrified of the concept of failing to meet her needs.

So what do I do? How do I find compromise? Besides praying a lot, I try to exercise an extreme amount of professionalism and time management. Time is precious, and the less I waste, the more I get done. I remember that “Inspiration is for amateurs,” a quote made popular by artist Chuck Close. That doesn’t mean I take inspiration for granted, but it does mean that when inspiration isn’t there, it is not an excuse to stop working.

And I have found that it is pointless to try to gain fulfillment in work. Projects, my own or contracted, rarely turn out the way I want. There is never enough time or resources to perfect a job before it’s needs to be done and passed over for the next one. While there is certain amount of pride gained from completing a “hard day’s work”, I discovered the real joy is in the process.

What would happen if we spent as much energy building our relationship with God as we do improving our work and our family? What if we set aside the priorities of this world to spend time talking to Him and studying His words? Keeping in mind our final destination, what if we took joy in the process of growing closer to our Creator?