3 Reasons I'm Sacrificing Good for Great
- Ali Howard irresistiblechurch.org
- 2017 15 Feb
“We’re busy, but we’re doing great!”
I find these words tumbling from my mouth as a programmed response when asked the question, “How are you doing?”
Busyness is one of my arch-enemies. I love having a full to-do list and the feeling of triumph that results from crossing everything off. I love being productive.
But, if I’m honest, I am often tempted to pack too much into a day making me late to most things and weary waking up the next morning. Busyness can be like a slow-growing cavity, decaying my peace and trust in the Lord.
This fall, my husband and I began to feel like we were in the circus, juggling our many responsibilities. While I was commuting an hour and a half each day to a full-time job, he was working part-time and pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree from seminary. He was also simultaneously working to complete his undergraduate degree online. In addition to this we were teaching a weekly Sunday school class, leading two different Bible studies, and attending a third.
Each of these activities, individually, are good and are things that we were excited to invest in. But towards the end of the year we paused to consider if we were great at doing any of these good things.
We realized that because our calendar necessitated the scheduling of every minute, we were not fully enjoying life.
We realized that it was time to cut back.
I wrestled with guilt and self-imposed peer pressure. After all, what do you cut when everything you are involved in is good? I worried that others would think we were lazy or uninvolved. But in the process of slowing down our lives I’ve realized three things:
1. Time is the greatest resource we are called to steward – Time is the one resource in our lives that is nonrenewable. Because of this, it is precious and we are accountable to God on how we spend it. Every commitment that we make with our time ought to be prayerfully considered and intentionally chosen.
2. People aren’t watching us as closely as we think they are – As we began to scale back on our commitments, I think I had a total of three people say something to me. Their responses were not condemning, but supportive and brief. The ministries that we pulled back from have continued without us and are doing just fine. I’ve realized that my fear of what others think is a sneaky form of pride tricking me to believe that how I spend my time is of utmost importance to everyone.
3. Doing less allows me to enjoy more – Without the constant need to get to the next commitment or check the next item off my list, I find more enjoyment in each moment. Leaving more space in my day allows me to see God more clearly throughout my day, rather than confining my time with Him to my daily devotions.
As I have worked with volunteers in many different roles, I’ve noticed that my addiction to busyness is not an isolated issue. And yet, I know that as we serve individuals and families affected by disability, we do not want to give them our left-over energy. We want to give them our best.
So, here is my question – how is our commitment to good things preventing us from being great at what we do?
I invite you to assess how you use your time and consider how you can simplify your day so we can give our best where God has called us to serve.
Ali Howard is a Baylor University graduate who has engaged in full-time, nonprofit work since 2011. She joined the Joni and Friends team in January 2015, and serves as the Senior Coordinator of Volunteer Services. She also acts as the content editor for the Irresistible Church blog and books.
Image courtesy: Pexels.com
Publication date: February 15, 2017