Very often when my children, friends, mentees (is that even a word?) and others tell me they are stressed out, I ask about the commitments they have made. When my children were in grade school, I felt that if my children were involved (church, sports, school, social activities) I needed to volunteer or be involved. You can see where this is going. I was totally stressed out by running around trying to be super-woman (e.g. - tutoring, class-momming, cub scout coordinating, teaching, craft doing, mentoring, meal making, et cetera) - you get the picture. God let me know that a need doesn't constitute a call and life needs margins to be lived well. It's been said before and more often than not when God was speaking to me it was the lips of my husband and friends that were moving. Consequently, I often advised others regarding that lesson I had learned.
Over the past several months I've gone through a period of time when I over-committed my time - in a big way. After I emerged from the harried malaise, I looked back and realized that I did exactly what I have done at various points in my life. I have a very bad habit of over committing. But why is this a bad thing? Well, having an over scheduled life prevents me from taking the time to have that extra cup of coffee with a struggling friend, sitting with my kids and catching up, being available for someone in need. Most importantly, it prevents me from keeping in touch with the Holy Spirit. When I am so consumed with my to-do list, my focus shifts from listening and looking for God to concentrating on 'what's next.'
Each of us has a tendency toward behaviors that keep us from God. Whether it is being overly-committed or overly-lazy, both distract us from seeking God throughout the day. Our lives are His but when we are too lazy to look for Him or too distracted to pay attention, we are no longer the salt and light Jesus asks us to be. It's an ongoing process and as disciples of Christ a process we must continually work through.
Takin' my own advice - Cynthia