My B+ Attempts at Being All That

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The Blessing of Doing Less: don’t hold on to something so tightly that you can’t receive something better.

on November 4, 2014

I’m broken; you’re broken; we’re all broken. God’s solution to offer restoration to our broken world is an arsenal of spiritual gifts. God made the world perfect, and humans messed it up. We keep on messing it up. We let ourselves get in the way, let worldly influences win debates, let unrealistic standards and judgmental attitudes suck the scriptures right out of us. We scramble to fill spots in a signup, secretly sighing heavily as we write one more thing on our calendars. We hear a sermon about responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ and quite selectively leave out the part that reminds us it’s not our job to do it all.

If a good deed is seen by no one, is it still a good deed?

When we’re faced with our own scheduling choices and opportunities to serve, we look at one neighbor and either wonder how she does it and sign up for one more thing because she did or look on the other side and puff up a little because our calendar is a bit fuller than hers. We compare. We compare, and then we delight or despair. We jump on a spiritually emotional roller coaster and say things like, “At least I’m not . . .” and “I don’t have time for a bible study because . . .” and “Just nailed that, so my whole existence has a purpose.” While we’re running so long and fast on our hamster wheel of a schedule to fulfill God’s purpose, we can so easily and so completely miss God. Or, we’re too busy worrying about what the neighbor thought about our win that we forget to worry about what God thinks.

I did more than you did. Na na na na na na!

I have never heard a sermon that preached, “Go out and scramble. She who has the busiest schedule wins. God’s favorite. Best Christian. Way to wear yourself out and do a bunch of things just so-so.” God is not interested in a score sheet or in service clouded by doubt and resentment. It’s easy to get caught up in a tally system because our value in so many arenas is evaluated with scores and statistics. If we can’t put a W in the win column, why did we even bother? What’s the point if we “only did this”? It’s a tough business, my friends – this game of doing more to think we’re being more when, in fact, we are giving so much of ourselves that we’re relying on caffeine, good luck and a few favors here and there to succeed instead of allowing the strength that God provides to those who do good works in his name to do good works through us.

The red flag of exhaustion

So, my suggestion is to take an inventory of your calendar. Tune out the voices in your head saying, “But she . . .” and list out all your stuff. Make a pros and cons list; think about why you chose to do the things; give an honest answer to the question of where you see God in them. If you can’t find Him, if your motivation is truly self-serving, if your cons list is simply a visual reminder of just how exhausted and drained the activity leaves you feeling, consider a big ol’ red pen. Find your “no” and be the example of doing less to be more of what God made you to be. Ask yourself: Is my involvement in this activity furthering the kingdom? And I realize that this may seem like a big question when you’re looking at things like making treats for work or working concessions at the school. But then again, is it really? Is God in the details? And if He isn’t, should they really be your details? Or, does your attitude about your details need to be checked at the door?

But you said . . .

Yes, I know my voice is so compelling that you will instantly go out and clean house on that calendar. Or maybe, you are patting yourself on the back because your calendar looks like mine in the middle of July when the toughest thing is to be a bit too hot in my living room because of poor air circulation. Don’t get yourself too excited about those empty slots. As strongly as I feel that we need to watch ourselves with overdoing it, I feel just as strongly that we need to actually do it on some level. If you have a mid-July calendar year-round, get yourself into a bible study, do some reflection, pray about where God wants you. And go do it. If you don’t see it, call your neighbors. One of them just might be ready to hand something over.

God equips the called

Answer the phone. He’ll walk with you on that path, getting you through any awkwardness or fear. He’ll give you tools and resources and all sorts of good stuff to get through it. No, it might not be the easiest path, but then He never promised us an easy walk, did He? He just promised to walk with us while we do what he gave us the ability, time and energy to do. Use that ultimate resource and go out and do the good things He wants you to do. And if you need help, please don’t call me because I’m kind of swamped over here being hot in my living room.

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