"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
There was one Saturday in late May or early June that I was stretched way too thin. We had no less than 5 games scheduled for the entire day between two baseball kids and a soccer kid. Plus, we had to go grocery shopping and get the oldest to his second day of work. And let's not forget the award ceremony where every single soccer player got a medal simply for being there (forget the fact that awarding everyone makes no one special or that we are encouraging the entitlement culture that is so rampant these days; those are another post for another day). After all of that, I was exhausted and passed out by 7:30- sorry dear, you're going to have to be the one to stay up and get the oldest kid at work because I just. can't. even. Zzzzz...
I'm telling this story because it goes hand in hand with the lesson that Jesus has been trying (and failing thanks to my stubbornness, ahem persistence) to teach me for years now. Jen Hatmaker talks about it in "For the Love" and Holley Gerth talks about it in "You're Already Amazing." I'm sure a whole host of other people also discuss this concept: You can't- and shouldn't- do it all. I love the quote that Holley Gerth gave in one of her Bible Study videos: "God came to give you life to the full not so that you could live a full life." (John 10:10) There's a big difference between the two! The first urges you to enjoy your life and every moment within it to the fullest while the second packs every spare moment of your life so full that you can't possibly enjoy anything at all. You don't have time.
So don't judge, but I just watched an episode of "Spongebob" called "Gullible Pants." It seriously inspired this post. In it, Spongebob is trying to please everyone by being in all of the places at the exact same time. Impossible, but he tries his hardest. Bless him. In the end, he is like me at the end of my day that Saturday- asleep. That wacky sponge is preaching a valuable lesson in all that zany, questionable twenty-five minutes of useless TV. You cannot be all of the things to all of the people all of the time. Trying will only lead to failure.
So today, I want us to remember Philippians 4:13: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." We aren't called to do every single thing that comes across our path, but we can do the things that God is calling us to do in his strength.
We also need to remember the words from John 10:10- "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." And because I love the way The Message says things so much, you have to read this verse in that translation as well: "A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." Did you notice that it doesn't say anything about packing life full in there? It says, "more and better life."
Take a minute to think about all of the things that are on your path right now. What's on there with you? Which things do you have to do? Which things can you (and should you) just keep walking past right now? Looking back on my day that Saturday, I could have left grocery shopping alone on the path. I didn't have to do it. We had plenty to get us through another day. It could have waited. What about you? What's one thing you could leave on your path for now to give yourself some breathing room?
If you haven't read it yet and are a reader, I urge you to pick up a copy of Jen Hatmaker's For the Love on Amazon, in an actual bookstore, or even just at the library (that's where I got my copy to read). It is full of advice on figuring out what to keep and what to let go of for a season. I found it invaluable.
Have a blessed day today and remember to be a blessing to someone else too!