too much, too little

There is simply no excuse for not giving your best to something.

Even when there is a "lid" in your life, from a tough work environment to a personal limitation, you can still give your best.

Whatever your leadership task is - caring for kids as a parent, investing in the church you call home, making sense of the goals and relationships in your workplace, bringing your best to that activity you coach or the team you take part in, studying hard to maximize your education - you have the chance to really maximize an opportunity to bring out God's best for those around you.

You have to chance to be fully faithful... nothing more, nothing less.

We're all aware of how easy it is to stop short of that for the wrong reasons... but likewise, many of us can give too much for a whole set wrong reasons.

You know you've stopped short when...

You "settle" versus "let go." You can't finish every project with perfection. In fact, I find that perfection - where you know there isn't anything you could possibly do beyond what you've done to make something better - is rare. But there is a difference between settling versus letting go. Letting go happens when you were faithful to whatever level you could be, factoring in time, skills, team available, size of project, and so on. Settling, though, happens before the deadline hits... it's giving up before you have to - because you don't push yourself to be yourself.

You "give up" time/resources versus "run out" of time/resources. We all have things to do in our weeks... and then there are the things we don't have to do but like to do. Think of your favorite TV shows, movies, hobbies, and so on - things you "like." Some of these things may actually be "necessary" because they help us build pockets of Sabbath throughout our week, but in many cases we move past the thing that brought us life and it starts to steal life from us. That online or video game you once played for recreation has now become an obsession... that hobby has started eating up your savings... and soon your time and resources are depleted by choice.

You know you've given too much when...

You "pass water" versus "hold water." When you're good at something, you can begin to coast on your skills and charm at the expense of your soul. Soon you become a dry well with a shiny bucket... a water passer instead of a water holder. You won't notice it right away, but if/when that job/role is removed, you'll find yourself with a dry and thirsty life - whether you're an empty-nester who spent 18+ years focusing too much on your kids or a minister of powerful content who has lost sight of the very content you've presented. But the fruit we're producing today looks good, so we assume it's all okay... but did you know that even a branch cut off from its life source will bloom for a short while, even though it's actually dead?

You "copy/paste" when you should "choppy/taste." We live in a world of resources, and so it's easy to pocket someone else's sweat than it is to exert some of our own. We have to devise a better system of discipline that inhibits our quick movement to grab someone else's stuff before we let God grab us. So before you highlight the text to copy and paste, spend some time with the text in your heart... the text that your Creator has imprinted upon you specifically... and then chop it up and taste it. The unique thing you have been designed to serve up should be something you have first consumed yourself... never trust a thin chef.

Again, the principle in all of these isn't becoming a workaholic - that's a sign you've gone too far. Nor is it becoming excessively Laissez-faire - that's a sign you don't really care about the things you allegedly care about.

The principle is faithfulness...

and faithfulness to the right things

will change the world in the right ways.

Start acting on who you are,
what you already have,
and the time you have to do it in.

And don't forget to remember your Sabbath...

keep it holy by making it holy.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll spend the next few free hours(Being home early today)investing into something more than a nap or what ever selse comes to mind to kill some time. Why do we use the phrase "kill time" or "I have some time to kill" anyways, when we should be giving it life.