In one of his Every Day with Jesus devotionals, Selwyn Hughes wrote that he “has learned to say no to many things in order to say yes to the thing.”
As a young, zealous Christian I said yes to almost everything – running a home Bible study, leadership in a Christian women’s group, PTA, teaching at my church, singing in the choir. Name a Christian activity and I’ve probably been involved in it at some point in my life. I didn’t do these things out of obligation but out of sincere love for Jesus and a desire for others to discover this amazing life in Jesus.
Besides what I considered godly activities, my three children each had sports, music and other activities that required my attendance. In spite of my lofty motives, eventually, over-commitment left me exhausted . . . at the end of my rope.
Forced to reconsider my involvements, I took the summer off from my job (I forgot to mention that I also worked). Over those two leisurely months, I found myself learning to enjoy life again, breathing deeply, re-discovering the magic of creation.
While lounging on the beach and sitting at nightly campfires, I decided to prune my over-busy calendar when I returned home. Like Selwyn Hughes, I began to say no to many unimportant things (unimportant for me) so that I could say yes to God’s focus for my life.
I still found myself tending to become over-busy, unwilling to disappoint people by saying no, and some projects appealed to me so much I wanted to say yes. Pruning my calendar wasn’t an easy one-time experience. I’ve had to do it many times.
As summer approaches and activities wind down, could this be a good time for you to reconsider what your fall schedule should look like? We can’t do our best at anything if we try to do everything.
“Lord, help me to become quiet enough to hear from you about the main focus of my life. Let my thoughts drift in you and find joy in the miracles that surround me. As I prune excess from my life, I lean on your wisdom for guidance.”
Rose McCormick Brandon is the author of One Good Work Makes all the Difference and Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children. Visit her website at http://writingfromtheheart.webs.com.