May 8, 2012
"For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." Matthew 11:30
A never-ending list of things "to do" drives me to the point of exhaustion by the end of each day. In addition to our normal, homeschooling routine I am preparing for a three-week trip out of the country. There are shots to get (and lots of 'em, I might add . . . ouch!), lessons to prepare, miscellaneous travel documents and items and clothes to acquire, trinkets to purchase for the kiddos while I'm away, letters to write, a spiritual life to maintain . . . the list extends on into eternity.
I want to do all these things. Colossians 3:23 says to work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. I make a list of all the things I can do to work toward a particular objective so that I can give the Lord my best. But somehow I never find enough time or energy to complete the tasks I want to do. All I end up giving the Lord is an earful of complaints. When I fail to finish each task on my list I end each day feeling inadequate and discouraged.
Earlier this week I read in a magazine published by Proverbs 31 ministries an article titled, Are You Driven or Led?, written by Holly Gerth. That's easy, I thought to myself, I'm driven! I esteemed myself over my natural state of staying busy. But as I delved deeper into the article, I realized the error of my ways.
"If you're driven, you can't be led," wrote the author. I realized she had a point. The author listed three indicators of a driven lifestyle: exhaustion (check!), a lack of joy (check!), and a desire to control . . . everything (check, check!).
Jesus says, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away
with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real
rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the
unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on
you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" (Matthew 11:30, The Message).
How do I know if I'm driven or led? I simply examine the fruit of my labor. Lately my work has failed to produce anything worthy of consuming. The only thing that's ripe is my attitude.
So yesterday I made a change.
As soon as I awoke I said to the Lord, "Father, I have nothing to do today. Not a thing. Only that which You desire to put on my plate. Please show me what You would have me do." I placed both feet on the ground and smiled. For the first time in weeks I did not have an impossible-to-finish "to do" list staring me in the face. I simply had to wait upon the Lord. I knew the day would prove enjoyable because His yoke is easy, His burden--light.
The Lord placed before me a joy-full and peace-filled day. We accomplished more schooling than normal, cleaned house (some of it, anyway), washed, folded and put away laundry (any of you mamas KNOW what an accomplishment that is), and I even had time for one more shot (polio, that is . . . not the other kind!).
What's on your list of things to do today? I haven't a thing on mine . . .