How easy it is to spread yourself thin
I’m convinced Jesus is not impressed by how physically or mentally busy I can be. If you are busy, that goes for you too. One litmus test that I hate to take is to ask others around me, like my wife, how they think I am doing in the area of busyness or preoccupation with lesser important things. It is really important to maintain an awareness of the reality of my soul, so I don’t believe my own press that I’m doing “great” when I’m actually not. Sometimes we need other people to help us become aware of the health of our soul.
Recently I had a heart to heart with my wife, and she lovingly reminded me that my “presence” is what pleases God, not my “productivity.” I need to hear that because I love to work and serve and lead. But at the end of the day, what’s going to last is how I invest in those who will outlive me. And that requires presence of mind and heart with those relationships with those closest to me. Busyness is the enemy of that.
Invest in those who will outlive you.
The writers of the Psalms learned so much of their wisdom from going outside and looking at the cycles of nature. In reflecting on what my wife shared with me, I looked out over a large grassland behind my house, and found this Psalm really helpful:
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children– (Psalm 103:15-17).
There seems to be a special emphasis here to focus on investing in kids. To be blunt, it is the young people around us today who will carry the baton when we are gone. I’m grateful for God’s Creation that can give me a tangible symbol like grass to remind me daily to not spread myself thin, but to invest my best in my kids.
- Ask someone close to you today to honestly help you evaluate how you are pacing your life. Are you running too fast and missing the most important investment of all… relationships?
- Spend some time reading the Psalm above and meditate on the idea that our lives are short, and we will all be a distant memory some day. What is the legacy that you want to leave behind?
- Describe in a few words the legacy that you want to pass on to those friends and family who are closest to you.
- Schedule your legacy. If we don’t plan and schedule our priorities, they won’t happen. So decide on a few habits or patterns you can put into place that will help you invest in passing on the legacy of Christ to those around you. You might want to consider a regular daily, monthly, quarterly retreat into God’s Creation a part of your rhythm, to help you slow down and hear God’s voice.
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