Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When it's time to let things go

Have you ever noticed that humanity has a tendency to overcommit themselves?  This being especially true in Christian circles - we feel obligated to serve others and serve in the Church, and so we sign-up for every dinner, Sunday school class, food drive, usher duty, musician duty, media duty, etc, etc, etc.  This all then adds to our already pretty full schedules, do to school, work, homework, general reading duties, television obligations (yeah, I said it), grocery shopping, the never-ending pile of laundry and dishes, etc, etc, etc.

Then let's not forget the things that we keep in our life because we just love them.  For students this could be playing on sports teams, being in a play or musical, or being a part of debate club.  For adults, we still cling to what we loved as a child - so finding a group of "old" people that wear knee braces and pound the hardwood to shoot a ball through a hoop, or participating in your local theatre guild, or being on the Board of your community's art society - WHATEVER, it's a bunch of stuff, right?

It's stuff that fills your day.  Lots and lots of stuff.  My mom, still to this day, loves to make lists of all of the things that she has to accomplish each day.  (I know now where some of my OCD comes from).  One day, when I was young, I noticed that on her list, she had written down "Make my list for tomorrow" as a thing to do.  This makes me chuckle, even to this day.

All that to say is when do we let some things go in our life?  When do we realize that enough is enough, or that maybe we should not commit to one more evening being spent out as we cling onto our past.  Not that these things aren't enjoyable, don't get me wrong - I still love to grab the old running shoes and pretend that I "got game" with a bunch of "old" people.  But I learned a long time ago that playing basketball on a scheduled basis like I did growing up won't fit into my schedule now.

Recently, I've had quite a few people come to me saying that they are having a hard time with everything.  They've added that when they are in church they rarely get anything out of it.  I ask them about their life, and the reply in each situation has been an overwhelming amount of stuff that's going on.  None of the stuff is bad, in fact, most of it brings these people joy and happiness.  But, the stress and anxiety is rising, and sure enough, God feels far away.

Can I say something?  God is NEVER far away.  That Bible that is growing dust on your shelf, is ALWAYS there.  So, my next question is always about their devotion time.  Sure enough, it's a rarity.  There just isn't enough time in the day.  And I believe them.  With the schedules that I heard about, getting up earlier isn't going to happen.  And if it does, it's only going to lead to the person getting sick, being crabby, and really not having a good time reading the Word at 4 am.

So, my question to them is when is enough enough, and what are you going to cut out?  It is so incredibly hard to admit that we can't handle the situations that we put ourselves in.  It is even harder to let things go in our life, in order to be able to build up our relationship with God.  But, it has to be done.  Sometimes maturing in our walk and journey as a Christian is realizing that our commitment to God comes before anything else that we commit to.  If you can start off your day spending time meditating on His Word, praying to Him, and seeking His face for your day, then the anxiety about the tight schedules, or all of the things that have to get done won't be so bad.  Because He is faithful - we cast our cares upon Him.

My last bit of advice to these people has been this - practice saying, "No."  Not only practice saying it, but put that practice into play.  Actually be mature enough to know when your schedule is entirely too full, and realize that maybe it is time to let some things go.  I read somewhere anyways that this world is filled with "vanity upon vanities," so what are we really letting go of anyways?  Don't worry about it - God is faithful.  I guarantee that if you put devotion to Him back in your life, you won't miss out on anything you are supposed to be a part of.  Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go check off "blog" on my list for today.  ; )

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