A multitude of activities doth not a success make…
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I used to have a veerry cluttered desktop. No, not the wooden one. My virtual desktop. Computer. This is mostly because I have tones of sticky notes flying around. Notes, tips and several goals I placed on my PC to help organize my life.
My tiff is however not with my love-hate-relationship with sticky notes. I like sticky notes, really I do and maybe a little clutter too. But the quarrel is with myself.
Here is why…
The ONLY reason I have tonnes of sticky notes is because I have tonnes of unfinished tasks. Somehow, it feels really good writing those notes down. And I won’t argue there are benefits, but the problem is after making dozens of bullet point goals, I sit back and admire my art of goal setting. But, after some weeks, I come back and if I still find those tasks undone, I begin to feel like I have…err…failed.
I define the quality of my life and ultimately my success by the number if things I am able to accomplish. This has always been one of my twisted ways of defining success. That the measure of success is being able to manage different things at the same time and succeed at all. I always thought, “Oh, you are good at that? Just that? What is the fun in that?” You see, this should not surprise you (maybe it doesn’t ‘cos you think the same way) as I am a serial multi-tasker. All ladies are. The quintessential Juliet-of-all-trades…err…master of…umm…err…none?
But it gets frustrating like I said, when I come back only to find I was not able to accomplish most of those tasks. It gets even worse when on some days I know I should be doing something but then just sit staring blankly at my bullet point list trying to figure out what to do. Ironic right? I mean I have many things to do already. Right?
Then I found something.
“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4 – NKJV)
Did you get that? Jesus said, ‘I have finished the work YOU gave me to do’. Not ‘the work Peter gave me to do’. Or ‘the work the Pharisees want me to do.’ But the work YOU gave me to do. Each time I pictured Jesus, I used to see Him as this super busy activity overlord who was running around healing the sick, preaching and generally doing good without a breather. But this is not true. Inasmuch as he was far from idle (John 9:4), he couldn’t possibly have been that busy if he could sit and draw circles in the stand, have relaxed conversations with strangers he met at the well, or have dinner parties with sinners. There were gazillions of sick people and lots of requests and expectations from him (many expected him to be an earthly king who would overthrow the Roman government), but he did only what God gave Him to do.
You see, this is key. I have realized that the only one I will report to is God. He is the one who holds the blueprint for my life. My duty is therefore, to find this blueprint on a daily basis. Instead of wasting time running off frantically in busyness, I should spend all that time finding what He wants me to do. I will be shocked to find that what he requires of me is blessedly simple. I should just chill and follow Him. This is not only wise but time-efficient.
Doing this, will drastically simplify our lives. God wants us to live full lives. Not busy lives. He wants us to live to the fullest. Love to the fullest. Abundant life. He wants to stretch us. But He doesn’t want us wasting precious time running at every one’s beck and call and generally getting burned out trying to compete with the world’s standard of success.
Busyness is great but can leave us blindly chasing results and not process. It sometimes has us leaving brush strokes all around and forgetting to admire the beautiful painting that is our lives. It can leave us as doers instead of livers.
Am I saying not to push yourself to the limit? Am I saying to be mediocre? Far from it! God will push you to your limits, His plans are anything but mediocre. What I am saying is this: shed off the extra load! De-clutter your life. The only burden you want in your life is that which God places on you. And it will shock you to find it is very light!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 – NKJV).
His burden is light if we take it up with joy and surrender. Pause a little. Review your to-do list. For whom are you doing them? If the answer is not God, then immediately strike them off your list. Now, begin to ask God, “What will you have me do?” Sometimes, you cannot sit idle and wait for God to move you. Take one step in faith first and watch Him guide you. Because a success is not a busy person but an obedient, purposeful person.
I may not do all the great things I dream of doing. I may not go all the places I desire to go. I may not make all the money I want to. I may not please everybody, even myself. I may not fill every moment of my life with ‘great’ activities. But I will do all God expects of me. I will settle for what He wants even if it looks insignificant in the world’s eyes. Things like faith, love, hope, joy…silence. I will work tirelessly for His beautiful will. I will wait on and for Him.
And maybe that’s okay.
Whatever you do, don’t EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVERRR, EVER, EVER get too busy for God.
Sorry, I was testing my copy and paste skills 🙂
Okay, here goes: Whatever you do, don’t ever get too busy for God.