How many of you find yourself asking this question of yourself far too often? There is no doubt we live in a world that demands much of us … but how do we determine when we do stop taking on more things?
This question has haunted me for most of my adult life. I am a go-getter and generally have a lot of energy to do that go-getting! That personality trait readily side-steps me when asked to consider new opportunities. Saying “yes” or offering to do more is far too easy for me. I am ashamed to admit, that often I don’t even think to ask the Lord whether I should commit to a new opportunity or not.
That life-long tendency to do more and more is partly because of my disposition and partly because of my gift of helps… but that doesn’t mean that since God made me this way it is OK to pack my minutes, hours, days, weeks and months full of “doing”.
On the other hand, we are here on this earth to be used, encourage, help and guide. I do not want to waste a minute that I could be doing something for the “family business”, the business I am a part of because I am a daughter of the King – the God of the universe. (Our pastor talked about being part of THE family business earlier this year and I just loved it! I hope you don’t mind me borrowing it, Pastor Shaun.)
Balance: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions
As with so many things in our lives, balance is a key word. I tend to be like a teeter totter…and I am sure many of you do too. AND, of course, that is the opposite of living with balance. So, where does balance come from? It comes from prayer and meditation on scripture. In fact, I will so bold as to say, I believe that is the ONLY place balance comes from. Praying with an open mind and spirit asking what significance/obligation I am to have in any situation is key to living my daily Christian life out with purpose and balance.
Significance: the quality of being worthy of attention; importance
Until just a few years ago, I pretty much defaulted to believing that any new task or obligation presented to me held significance for me. That was actually very haughty of me… thinking I was somehow gifted and well-suited enough to need to give attention and/or bring importance to everything and anything that came across my path. However, there ARE some things that I AM to bring significance to. The Lord is the only one that can reveal that me as I pray and ask for guidance and then chew on His Word. God promises wisdom to those who ask in James 1:5-6 “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” -ESV
All that is required of me is to ask, and listen for the answer. Colossians 3:23 says that whatever I do, I am to “do heartily as until the Lord and not as unto men.” Note, if does not say that that I am to do everything! It says that out of everything I could do… the things I actually do should be done heartily (with my full-heart, soul and strength). It is impossible to do that if I am over-committed, over-worked and thus exhausted emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Once I know if I am to have any significance in something, the next prayer should be, what then is my obligation to be?
Obligation: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment
When the Lord answers my prayer of “should I any significance in this?” with a “Yes”, it may not mean I am take on the full obligation. Or, perhaps it does. That is why I must go back to the Lord and ask what amount of commitment and involvement I am to obligate myself to. This is very freeing, because when I know the Lord is directing me, I am released to be who He desires me to be… not who someone else wants me to be, or who I think I need to be. Guilt cannot glom onto me because I know I am doing, or not doing, exacting what my Jesus has led me to do.
Just like me, all of you are faced with opportunities. Prayer and scripture can direct us in the way we should go, keeping balance and JOY in our lives as we serve our Lord. That never-ending question “To Do or Not To Do?” loses it haunting power when we let Jesus direct our paths