When Shannan and I were dating, her youngest brother would waddle down the hall at bedtime to spy on us. Shad was two. It took stern coaxing and her dad’s occasional threat of a “pop on the bottom” to point him in the right direction. The boy just didn’t want to go to bed.
I can relate!
New opportunities greet me every day: new learnings, new faces, new challenges, and always new books! At 52, I feel like I’m 2. I don’t want to go to bed:
- I want to read.
- I want to write.
- I want to think.
- I want to create.
- I want to travel.
- I want to do it all!
While I want to do it all, I am learning that God has not called me to do it all. It is a lesson I learned from Jesus.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. John 17:1-4 ESV
Re-read that last line. Jesus said that he “accomplished the work.” Whoa, Jesus! There were still sick people to heal, crippled folks to mend, and the Kingdom to be preached! How can you say, “Mission accomplished”?
Jesus teaches me that my mission is not defined by my want-tos but by God’s plan. Understanding Jesus’ words also saves me from two errors:
- Error #1 — I am what I produce. No, you are not what you produce. And God does not love you more because you produce more. You are loved by God, Period! It is Jesus’ finished work on the cross that defines your value – not your productivity level and not your list of accomplishments.
- Error #2 — Production is what matters. Make no mistake about it. Production is important. Production means widgets are assembled, shipped, and put to good use. Production means paychecks and hot meals and even a few toys. Production means this blog post gets written and hopefully you get encouraged. But production is not ultimately what matters. Look again at the verses above. What drove Jesus’ work? It was his desire to bring glory to God the Father.
I want to do it all . . . but I cannot and I will not . . . there isn’t enough time. But I’m okay with that. It’s not about my “To Do” list anyway, it’s about God’s glory. If I start there, I think I’ll end up just fine.