Ever have one of those weeks where there’s so much to do you hardly know where to start, and you feel almost paralyzed by it all?
Yeah. That kind of week.
It becomes a reminder that at times we need to be selective in what we choose to do, and we have to learn to use an oft-under-used term in the English language: no.
Many of us naturally want to please others, and so when we are asked to take on a task, we jump at the opportunity – perhaps without realizing what else we’ve committed ourselves to.
It’s good to take a step back, review the calendar in ‘big picture’ mode, and learn to say ‘no’ to something good, in favour of saying ‘yes’ to something better. And that involves not just looking at the calendar, but for followers of Jesus, it also involves holding the matter before the Lord, seeking discernment for the decision.
In the day-to-day excitement of life, it is a real discipline to be able to step back and look at the big picture, and to offer even our seemingly small decisions to God. I don’t mean that we need to pray about which sock to put on first, but I do mean that we need to seek the Lord for decisions like whether or not to accept a particular invitation, or job offer, or time commitment.
Of course, depending on what you do for a living, you may not be given much choice as to certain decisions, since they are made for you – but even prioritizing them can be a matter for prayerful discernment. Sometimes, employers ‘reward’ their best people with more work, and at times, you may have the freedom to say ‘no’.
Remember, your life in Christ, your time with family, and your health all supersede pretty well any other call on your time.
Give him the reins. Let the Lord lead.
“Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow” (Psalm 5.8, NLT).
Encouragement From the Word is taking a week off while I’m on study leave, and will be back on March 10.