Recently God shed light on a subconscious, but nagging feeling that drove me—that I was running late, accomplishing too little, and that I might even run out of time before the music fell silent in the ultimate game of musical chairs: my own life.
Do you live in a hurry? Is your to do list is longer than your day? Longer than your lifetime?
Are you constantly cheating something or someone to deliver on whatever (or whoever) is screaming loudest at you at the moment? Does guilt—for not doing enough or not being enough—nip at your heels, and your psyche?
Are you so squeezed that when opportunities to do a spontaneous kindness you want to do—visit a sick person, make a neighbor’s child an Easter basket, assist someone broken down on the side of the road—you have to pass?
I confess that I have and often still do live too fast. I overreach. I cut corners.
Why? To achieve more, in the hopes that I will be more.
My predisposition is to choose production and performance over pleasure, rest, and friendship—good gifts God wants to give me.
I’ve lived most of my life with my hair on fire. Thankfully I can now say that I’m a recovering type A personality, although I came even this way involuntarily, when a health crisis leveled me, plunging me into a place of neediness and drastically reducing my capacity.
God does lead me beside still waters, though I sometimes go kicking and screaming—what a strange picture.
The reasons for my drivenness are complex—being a firstborn, an unsatisfied father-hunger, brokenness born in a broken home life that left me desperate to prove, not that I was something, but that I wasn’t a nothing.
As a result, I established some unhealthy patterns early in my life, often simply to buy time away from the homes that didn’t feel much like home to me.
I became a girl on the go. While I might have chosen other escapes, I (mostly) took the path of the goody two-shoes—perhaps a less toxic and destructive path, but no less misguided, or addictive.
I plunged myself into academics, Bible study, church youth choir and trips, cheerleading, even Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) meetings—anything that might spare me the pain of being present in one of the two places I called home—one of them inhospitable and, the other, abusive.
Whatever lies behind these patterns in my life, and the brokenness that drives me even now to a near-obsession to achieve something that will count for eternity, the truth is that there is ample time in my one life to achieve what God has put me here on this earth to do, just as there is in yours.
Come let us reason together: If God has prepared good works in advance for us to do, why would He not also give us enough of everything we need to do them, including time?
“… And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you may abound in every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
What is required of us is to love justice and mercy and walk humbly with our God.
However many good works we do, and however many people those good works touch, it is enough.
We need not be concerned about the size of our offering relative to others’—whether it be a widow’s mite dropped into the plate, a basket of fish and loaves placed into the hands of Jesus, half of our possessions returned to the poor, or even our precious, promised Isaac laid on the altar before God—only that we give to God what He requires of us.
We need not even be concerned with how our offering will be used once placed in God’s hands, how “big” of an impact it will make for the Kingdom—whether it will inspire others to sacrificial generosity and obedience, be multiplied to feed 5,000, go down in history, or even be raised from the dead. God will do with our offering what He will.
His yoke is easy. His burden is light.
Our work is to:
- Love God
- Love our neighbor
- Feed His sheep and
- Abide in the Vine
The fruit we have a part in producing is produced in mystery because God Himself is multiplying our offering, the seed we have scattered.
“…the Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he does not know how.” Mark 4:26-27