"...I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."--Ephesians 4:1 Have you ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? These four laws were developed by Campus Crusade to use as an aid in sharing the gospel. Anyways, the first law states "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." I read a parody somewhere that said, "God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life." Don't you feel that's true at times?
If you're a mom, you may feel that you are always at the beck and call of your family. Everyone seems to want a piece of me. I am learning that that is part and parcel of the ministry of motherhood. If I don't accept that, I will always be resentful of the intrusions on my time. If God has given me children, He has called me into this ministry above all other things. I didn't always like that. I thought that I was sacrificing my potential when I could be doing other more "important" work. It took the words of a wise friend who reminded me that there is nothing unimportant about raising children. That's another story for another day.
As believers, we are called to live a life worthy of His calling. As a mother, that means sacrificially serving my family. When I willingly change diapers, cook meals, and clean my home, I am living that life. However, I don't believe it means that we need to save everyone else's needs either. Sometimes our sense of overwhelm comes because we have failed to say "no". After all, most things on our commitment lists don't take that much time, right? One afternoon here, an hour there, one meeting a month for the PTA. No problem. But what is the problem is when they all converge at once and life becomes a circus of activity, often with the really important things get shoved to the side or neglected completely.
Our first job is to live a life worthy of His calling, not what other people call us to do. If Jesus is the one teaching and guiding us, then even though our lives are full, they are not overwhelming. We need to let Him help us to evaluate each and every one of our activities, not for their inherent value, for I am sure that most of us are not involved in illegal or immoral things, but for their eternal value. I have had to learn to ask myself: Does this activity help me to live out God's plan for His kingdom? Does it allow me to contribute to the Kingdom and further it in some way? Does this help develop godliness in character and my witness for Him? If I sense that I ought to do it because no one else would, or if I fear that I would cause trouble for others if I don't, then I should think twice about getting involved.
On the flip side, sometimes I am not doing the things I should be doing, mainly because I am too busy doing things I shouldn't. Things like taking time to play and interact with each of my children instead of just pushing them into the car so we can get to the next destination on time. Things like stopping to take the teachable moment that presents itself instead of just rushing ahead to do my next task on my list. Things like prayerfully seeking the Lord on how to help a child work through friendship issues or character weaknesses and then implementing a plan of action with Him to develop their souls. When we are too busy doing things we shouldn't, then there will always be that niggling thought in the back of our minds that we should be really doing more of the important stuff. Guilt will set in. I don't like living out of guilt. I don't think God intended for us to live that way.
Jesus promised that when we come to Him, bring our burdens to Him, He will teach us. His burden is light. When we seek to live a life worthy of Him, we gain the courage to say no to those extras that only weigh us down from doing the things that give us life.
Part 3 of Overwhelmed series.