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