NOTE: Will you take a minute after reading this post to hop over and leave a word of encouragement to our Proverbs 31 president Lysa TerKeurst? She is struggling with some permanent ringing in her ears and hearing loss. Prayers appreciated!
Love, love, LOVE reading your comments as we visit the topic of being overcommitted here this week.
One more day of why we do this to ourselves and then? How to stop!
My friend and accountability partner Mary has heard me vent about my over-crowded schedule over the years. Often after listening patiently, she will ask me this question: “Well, Karen. Is this for activity or eternity?”
What she means is this—are you doing the task or signing up for the duty just to be “doing” something? Is it just an activity that will take up space in your week? In the light of eternity, is this important?
As I ask myself those questions, it helps to migrate my brain to the right answer.
And sometimes I will get a different answer for seemingly the same task. Let’s take baking cookies for someone. (I’m actually baking a few dozen today for a care package I’m mailing and a student teacher at my son’s school whose last day is today.)
Maybe I am asked to bake some for an annual bake sale. I have done it before. Many times. Often I have noticed that there are lots of leftovers that don’t get sold. And, I serve the organization year round in another capacity so I feel I’m doing more than my fair share.
I also notice there are parents who don’t help out during the year and never get called to bake cookies since the list fills ups with the “regulars” (Ever hear of the 80/20 rule? In any organization or church, 80% of the work is usually done by 20% of the people!)
So, my answer this year can be a sweet, “No.”
However, let’s take a different scenario. (A true one that happened to me recently)
A single mom moves into your neighborhood. Her kids are new to the school district. She has recently gone through an unwanted divorce. You drive by her house for a few days and see boxes stacked high in the garage. You aren’t sure if she knows anyone in the town yet.
Should you stop, even though your day is full, and whip up a batch of cookies to take over to her and her kiddos?
My answer was “yes”. I wanted to welcome her. I wasn’t sure if she knew anyone here or knew God loved her and had a plan for her life despite the tough place she was in.
I know it sounds trite but the ole’ WWJD? (what would Jesus do?) is a great question!
So, I stopped. I baked. I showed up. And, so did God.
Here I thought I would be a blessing to her, and instead, it has been the opposite!
I discovered she goes to my church (my church is very large with two services and I’ve only been there just under two years so I don’t always recognize everyone. She recognized me from being in some of the dramas.).
I also discovered that she has a son who is new to the 8th grade at the middle school this year. So was my son. They’ve become fast friends. And, I now have another mom to share rides with, if needed. (YAY!)
She is a sweet Christian who sends me scripture via text and just blesses my socks off!
This cookie-baking connection had eternal value! And it would have if all it had been was a simple gesture of love to a new neighbor too.
Activity for activity’s sake finds us doing too much. We need to stop “doing” and start “being”. I love what my friend Lisa said once, “We are human beings. Not human doings!”
The trouble is, we get our identity from the “doing”, don’t we? We get another hat to wear; a title; worth. It is just how our culture measures significance.
But, it is NOT how God measures it.
He cares much more about who we are becoming than what we are doing.
What do you think? Ever get caught in the “I am what I am doing” trap? How so? Are there any activities on your plate that aren’t for eternity and need to go? Why do we measure our worth based on what we do or what hats we wear?