You’re being pulled in a million directions lately, coming apart at the seams.
It’s sometimes the unfortunate byproduct of a particular, but fleeting, season of life. That’s one thing. Other times, it’s an unending and direct result of your choices. And that’s quite another thing.
I’m talking about the latter, and I’m mostly talking to myself.
Short-fused, with clenched fists, easily annoyed, and mostly impatient. We labor and spin and strain to keep everything afloat. I’ve been there.
I’m the one who can’t say no.
This event. That activity. This appointment. That club. That class. This get-together. That project. That meeting. This party. That request.
We want to be everything to everyone, every time.
And they’re usually inherently good endeavors. But saying yes to something good can mean saying no to something better. That something being the peace, margin, and rest God calls me to and makes eternally available to me.
The Peace that passes understanding is available to me, in its fullest form, during every moment, always. Yet it’s me who often stifles that Peace in my life.
Maybe you can relate.
Is your time at home usually spent preparing for the next event?
Do you have any down time? Any free evenings?
Are you late–or at least rushing–to everything?
Do you regularly believe you can somehow fit more in your jam-packed day? Or at least be more productive?
Do you have time to be spontaneous? Or are you so restricted by your agenda that you’re incessantly focused on working through your schedule?
Do you get frustrated when deviating from your plans?
Are you experiencing inner turmoil because you’re attempting to appease everyone around you?
Are you ruled by your calendar?
Do you often feel guilty because you could have accomplished or produced more during your day?
Are you uncomfortable without a plan?
We’re trying to keep up with everyone and everything, incessantly running to what’s next as we check off our list, finding value in productivity or satisfying the opinions of others. Unengaged and rarely present, we remain motivated by the fear that we’re forgetting something, missing out, or–in my case–disappointing someone.
For me, my inability to say no is often perceived as kindness or humility or self-sacrifice. Let me tell you–it’s not. This futile race of mine is largely anchored in self, and specifically in fear and pride. Fear: that I might not have everyone’s approval or somehow be less than my perception of “perfect.” Pride: the egocentric fallacy that I could control everyone’s approval and even attain perfection.
I’ve grown weary of this tiresome cycle, and I suspect you might be with me on this.
So let me remind you–although I’m mostly reminding myself:
You are enough in Christ. Christ is more than enough in you. Not because of you. Because of Christ in you. That alone vindicates you. You can slow down. Exhale. Sit still in God’s presence. Take time to assess the attitude of your heart. Say no despite the fear of missing out or disappointing. Say yes to what matters. Say yes to margin in your schedule. Margin leaves room for the Holy Spirit to move you. This margin protects space to act when the Spirit prompts. Space to think about and love others. Space to be present. To Engage. To lean deeply into God’s call on your life.
And you can be certain, God’s call will inevitably include the fruit of life and peace–but we must carefully guard against choices that stifle that fruit.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV).
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6 (NIV).
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”‘ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV).
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV).
‘”Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV).
It’s an absolute pleasure to introduce you to this vixen. Well, that was rude. She has a name–they call her Café Con Leche. I first learned about this heavenly brew in Miami this past summer. She’s sweetened with brown sugar and cuban espresso (apparently known for its sweetness). Try as I might, I can’t find this beauty anywhere around here. But I still had to share.
Much love to you,