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Today’s Truth

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Friend to Friend  

Living as a Christ-follower in this rat race culture is a noble, profound, and sacred calling. And, navigating our commitments, others’ expectations, and our own hang-ups can be downright demanding, relentless, and exhausting. Whether you’re single, married, your kids are grown, or you’re the mother of young children, you face the daily challenge of enjoying the journey, staying in step with Jesus, and embracing the promise of His presence and provision each moment of the day.

My sons are grown and married now. And you know? I marvel at how the days that seemed to blur together back then have quickly come and they’ve gone.

Looking back, I’m so glad I enjoyed lemonade stands, water fights, and bedtime prayers with my boys. I’m glad that amidst my endless pile of laundry, I took time to pray, read my Bible, and rest in God’s presence.

But I also have a few regrets. I regret certain seasons where I rushed and raced through life simply because I committed to more than God asked of me. I regret losing sleep over what others thought of me because I disappointed them. I so wish I would have understood back then what I know now about soul freedom, the preciousness of our days, and how quickly our kids grow up.

If you’re worn out by all of life’s ought-to’s and should-do’s; if you long to feel energized, inspired, and expectant in your faith once again, I have great news for you. God has more for you! Allow me to ask a few thought-provoking questions.

Are you so bogged down with life-draining commitments that you’ve forgotten how good a belly laugh feels or how rich a time of quiet prayer can be? Do you relegate praise and worship to an hour on Sunday and thereby miss out on singing at the top of your lungs every other day of the week? Has it occurred to you that God longs for you to take more life-giving path than the one you’re on?

Sometimes we over commit for all the wrong reasons (pride, insecurity, fear, hastiness). Other times we have the best of intentions for giving away our time (a good cause, a great need, there’s nobody else). Either way, we need to ask ourselves some probing questions:

  • Am I captive to my commitments, or free to respond to God’s invitation to do life with Him?
  • Is my current path a catalyst to increasing joy and faith or does all of my rushing make me more prone to worry and fear?
  • When I assess honestly the time I give away to my various commitments, do I find behind it all, a divinely inspired soul growing in grace and strength? Or, am I a spent and weary soul, losing steam by the day?

Nothing drains us more than signing up for things God never asked us to do. Yet, all too often that’s exactly where we lose our way. When we live shackled to others’ opinions, expectations, and requirements, we give away our yes because of a lie. We commit to things in order to save face, and as a result, we miss out on God’s invitation to fully entrust ourselves to Him.

Days will fly by and sacred moments will continue to elude us until we decide to hit the brakes and take inventory of what’s driving us.

How do we know if we’re driving too hard in a way that God never sanctioned? We pay attention to how our efforts impact us and those we love. Take a look at these life-draining motivations and see if any resonate with you:

  • External pressure without internal conviction
  • To impress
  • To save face (to manage others’ opinions of you)
  • To gain acceptance
  • Fear of rejection
  • To fill a gap or role that God didn’t ask you to fill
  • To postpone conflict
  • To compensate for shortcoming in another area of life

It’s time to stop our rushing and racing through life so we can better know how for us God is. And the only way to do that is to start today by truly, deeply, profoundly knowing and believing that He is God (and we are not), and that more rests on His shoulders than on ours. May this, for you, be the start of a new and sacred pace, one that’s sustainable and life giving. God’s will for you is your best case scenario.

Prayer

Father in Heaven, I open my hands before You. I give you access to my story and my soul. Speak to me about my commitments. Awaken my heart to the best of what You have for me. Lift the grace from lesser commitments so that I can lay hold of all You have for me. I want to live a life totally disproportionate to who I am. I want to live as one who is spoken for. Lead me on, dear Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name, I pray.

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Do the vast majority of your yeses increase your faith and fill you with a greater expectancy of how God is moving in your midst? Or, do they drain you to the point that you find yourself weary, simply rushing from one thing to the next? Have you signed up for something God never asked you to do?

More from the Girlfriends

Do you need help learning how to find and do God’s perfect plan for your life? Check out Susie’s book, Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligations for Freedom, Passion, & Joy and visit Susie’s website: www.susielarson.com.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

12 Responses to “A More Sacred Pace”

  1. Gaylon Warner says:

    This I a perfect reminder for the season I am about to enter in with my work place. They are opening a new store and I will be helping to get it off the ground, which of course will require more of my time. I will be going from a part time employee to full time with maybe even more than 40 hours. I have committed to it for a 3 month time period, this devotional has practical and measurable questions to ask ourselves. I love your statement, “Nothing drains us more than signing up for those things God never asked us to do.” Thank you for some wise words.

    • Susie Larson Susie Larson says:

      Dear Gaylon, May God Himself give you a strong sense of where the job ends and where you begin. May He give you abundant grace in this next season of life so you can tend to all He’s put before you! Bless you, dear one!

  2. AS says:

    This was soooooo timely. Thank you

  3. BerylAnne says:

    Thank you for the reminder that my time is not my own. I find that I over commit and try to justify it by doing “good” things for others, yet I am robbing myself of rest and time with the Lord and then end up resenting it. Vicious circle that needs to be broken. I appreciate your insight and advice which can only bring me to a place of peace and into a better relationship with God.

    • Susie Larson Susie Larson says:

      Dear BerylAnne, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love that Jesus calls us to a yoke that fits us perfectly. He never intends for us to grind our gears into exhaustion. He invites us into a rhythm of life with Him. I don’t want to get to heaven and realized that much of my work was wasted because it was born out of striving. May we take the rest-exits He provides and let Him replenish our souls. Amen!

  4. Mandy Foley says:

    Loved the devotion. I am afraid Iif I answer the questions honestly I am from time to time the worry wart going about business for the wrong reasons and winding up a weary soul. Help me Jesus to stay focused on you !

    • Susie Larson Susie Larson says:

      Dear Mandy, I’m with you! And quite honestly, I think we all vacillate between the abiding life and the striving life. But wow, once we’ve tasted the fruit of our abiding, and learned to work from the finished work of Christ, everything changes. God bless you, dear sister!

  5. Penny Lester says:

    Wow! This devotion really hit home! I am such a worrier. I hate conflict and want people to be happy with me. It also doesn’t help that I am a bit of a perfectionist! In my current job of teaching for 20 years, I spend way too much time trying to please others and to do a perfect job, which is not humanly possible. I also spend way too much time after school working on lessons for my students.i find myself exhausted and not getting the rest I need. I need to reexamine my motives daily!!! I need to ask God to guide me in my actions. I want my actions to be for him and the up building of his kingdom instead of to please others. Only through him and his guidance can I have a positive influence on my own family, sweet students, and coworkers!

  6. Susie Larson Susie Larson says:

    Dear Penny,

    I’m so grateful! And it’s a gift when we finally realize that we have nothing to prove and all of eternity to live for, yes? May the ebb and flow of Christ’s life within you, bring great fruit to your work and to your rest. May He lead you beside still waters and may He strengthen your soul. He is for you! God bless you, dear one!

  7. Christine says:

    Susie, I love this word. Thank you so much for sharing…I didn’t realize until I was about halfway done reading how much I needed to hear this message. As one of the 20% that does 80% of the work, it sure can be hard to say “no”. Thanks for the shot in the arm of encouragement that there are more important things in life, and that joy, not stress, should be part of every day!

    • Susie Larson Susie Larson says:

      Dear Christine,
      You are SO welcome! I’m one of those folks too! And what a treasure it is to learn a better way to live – in the ebb and flow of God’s best rhythm for us. 🙂 So grateful the post encouraged you. Bless you, dear sister!

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