by Charles R. Swindoll
A prayer to be said
When the world has gotten you down,
And you feel rotten,
And you're too doggone tired to pray,
And you're in a big hurry,
And besides, you're mad at everybody . . .
Asking for help is smart. So why don't we? You want to know why? Pride. Which is nothing more than stubborn unwillingness to admit need. The result? Impatience. Irritation. Anger. Longer hours. Less and less laughter. No vacations. Inflexibility. Longer and longer gaps between meaningful times in God's Word. Precious few (if any) moments in prayer and prolonged meditation.
My friend, it's time to declare it: No way can you keep going at this pace and stay effective year after year! Give yourself a break! Stop trying to cover all the bases! Relax!
Once you've put it into neutral, crack open your Bible to Exodus 18:18-27, the account of a visit Jethro made to his son-in-law Moses. Jethro wasn't impressed as he watched Moses dash from one person to another, one need to another. "What is this thing that you are doing for the people?" he asked. Moses was somewhat defensive (most too-busy people are) as he attempted to justify his schedule. Jethro didn't buy it. He advised Moses against trying to do everything alone and reproved him with strong words: "The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out" (vv. 17-18).
In other words, he told Moses: CALL FOR HELP.
The benefits of shifting and sharing the load? Read verses 22-23: "It will be easier for you. . . . You will be able to endure." Isn't that interesting? We seem to think it's better to have that tired-blood, overworked-underpaid, I've-really-got-it-rough look. Among Christians, it's what I call the martyr complex that announces, "I'm working so hard for Jesus!"
The truth of the matter is, that hurried, harried appearance usually means, "I'm too stubborn to slow down" or "I'm too insecure to say no" or "I'm too proud to ask for help." Since when is a bleeding ulcer a sign of spirituality . . . or a seventy-hour week a mark of efficiency?
The world beginning to get you down? Too tired to pray? Ticked off at a lot of folks? Let me suggest one of the few four-letter words God loves to hear us use: HELP!
Efficiency is enhanced not by what we accomplish but by what we relinquish.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.