The Great Tug of War
As I sit at my desk here at Teen Challenge this morning, my mind is going a hundred miles an hour: Do I do this or do that? Should I do this first? What is most important? I need to do this by… WHEN? HELP! Sometimes life can pull us in so many directions we feel like we are totally being pulled a part. We know we are to put God first… there are the needs of family… the needs of those who are counting on us… our work or ministry responsibilities and, oh, yeah… our own personal needs! Personal needs, what’s that? Sometimes I look at my fingernails and think, “how long has it been since I even filed these bad boys?” Then my mind begins to wander… “How long has it been since I exercised? read a good book? took a long walk?” … and the list could go on. So what is the point? The point is simply this. I am sure each and every one of us have a lot on our plates. There are always reasons “why” we HAVE to do this; “why” we HAVE to do that. And of course, there are always everybody’s messy emergencies that we have to put on our haz-mat gear and clean up. All this “stuff” can pull at the very sinews of our souls and wear us out – making us totally unavailable for the important things of our lives. So…. we need to let go of the tug-of-war rope. Just let it go! God does not intend for us to be so pulled a part that we aren’t together enough to do what He has called us to do-including taking care of ourselves. You might be asking, “How do I know what I should let go of?” That, my friend is not an easy answer. But here are some thoughts…
- When taking on a “job”, another person’s “emergency”, or commitment to your already loaded schedule, ask these questions: Is this of God? Lord, do you want me to take this on? What is my motivation for taking it on? Is this a “come to the rescue”, pride thing that I am falling into? Am I being co-dependent?
- Take a time out. In a couple of weeks I am going to do just this. I try to do this twice a year, but I make sure I do this at least annually. This time out is a time where I fast and pray – seek God’s face and then start my planning: quarterly planning; annual planning and taking a look to see if these plans work toward my long term goals. I also examine every “commitment” in my life – seeing if my priorities are proper.
- Humble yourself. After seeking God; seeing if priorities are right – there are times I have had to humble myself and say, “I am sorry, I have over-committed myself and I can no longer do this.” Also, don’t be afraid to seek counsel if you are struggling on discerning what is REALLY of importance.
- Implement your plan today! JUST DO IT!!!! Do not put off for “tomorrow” what you need to do today.
One last thought: I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of feeling like I am being pulled a part. I want to do God’s priorities. I want to be the example God has called me to be. Here at Teen Challenge, I have a lot of eyes watching me: my staff, my students, their families, people in the church and community. The question I have to ask myself is, “What are they seeing?” Are they seeing someone whose life is “working” – someone whose priorities are straight? Or, are they seeing someone who needs to take her own advice? All I, all we have to offer others is the “TRUTH” that is manifested in our own lives. What TRUTH am I, are we walking out – God’s or the madness this world has to offer? Satan wants all our energies put toward his unholy tug-of-war contest. He is quick to hand us the rope and say “pull” – knowing this will zap our strength. What should our response be? Drop the rope; say, “Nope, I have someone who is going to take this on for me. Maybe you have met Him, Jesus… King of Kings, Lord of Lords… the one who has the strength to win this battle and any battles to come.” #committedtoChristnotthings #lettinggogivingittoJesus