I’m sitting at home right now by myself.
I work a few different jobs and today is different. Today, with the help of divine intervention no doubt, I do not have anything on the schedule. I have already woke up and had a “productive” day. I woke up, kissed my wife goodbye as she headed to work, got to know the book of a James a little better than I had previously, met a dear friend for breakfast and have even tackled all of the new emails in my inbox.
I am a “Yes man.” You know what I mean by that. I habitually respond to almost every request with a proud and confident, “YES!” I chose those two words very carefully… proud and confident. I am prideful. I like to be known and I like to be known for doing great work. I put myself at the front of the pack and if a plane were going down I’d probably not have an issue with dawning my oxygen mask before my neighbors. But I take on tasks for more reasons than simply because I like to be known by others. Like I said, I speak confidently.
The confidence may stem from my pride but the crux of the issue (sometimes resulting in the crutch of the situation) is that nobody can do it better than me. All of you who have been gifted with skills to lead others know exactly what I mean. You are intuitive. You are quick-witted. You are adaptive. You thrive under pressure. “Oh, you need help with that? I’ll be your hero. And your hero. And your hero. I can handle that.”
So, I have the day off. Do you know what my days off typically tend to look like? I play Clash of Clans until my thumbs are sore. I scroll my Facebook timeline until I get upset that I cannot tag people in real life. I don’t workout. I don’t read. I don’t meet with other believers. I don’t invest in myself in any way whatsoever. I just am. On days off, I just exist.
As I began to settle into my lame stupor for the day, Ephesians 5:16 came to mind. Thank God that the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention. Here’s the passage in context:
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
You have most likely heard this verse before. You have read and skimmed over it. This verse spoke out to me today because I don’t redeem the days but I allow the days to ruin me. Like I talked about as this dialogue opened, I say yes to everything and I have slowly become a jack of all trades and master of zilch (well, not zilch…).
We were made for so much more than that. We are made for so much more than that. The days around us are difficult, yes, but we are called to assess how we live every moment of our lives. There is a place for Sabbath rest but that is to be weaved into our daily lives in such a way that we do not power-down on specific days of the week in ways that are unhealthy. I’m learning to say no to “opportunities” in hopes to invest my energy into the things that I once deemed high-priority. My family. My faith. My vocation/calling. I challenge you to do the same.
What are areas in your life that are merely distractions, deterring you from being the person that you’d like to be? Maybe they are not external but internal garbage that you need to take out. Let that crap go and start living … making the best of the time.