Tears filled my little person’s eyes. To her extreme delight, her friend from school had invited her to his birthday party at a trampoline park. And to her extreme anticipation, her cousin had invited her to a mermaid birthday party at her house. To her extreme chagrin, both unmissable events were scheduled for the same afternoon.
“But Momma,” she cried, “I have to go to both! They’re both my friends!” Her little heart was devastated that she could not be two places at once.
Not to spoil it for you, dear friend, but neither can you. Neither can I.
Just because it’s good, doesn’t mean that it’s my good.
Let me explain.
I’m really good at saying Yes. I’m great at seeing a need and imagining how I could help solve it. Seeing necessities, serving needs, solving problems, improving practices—these things make me happy and fulfilled. Chances are you are really good at meeting needs too.
Have you ever discovered, though, that when you say Yes to every worthy opportunity that comes along, you quickly run out of time for your true passions? Have you found that your time is then spent fulfilling someone else’s vision and needs?
The challenge for me, actually, is to say No. No to the admirable activities that are not the right thing for right now. No to someone else’s idea of what my day and life should look like, instead of those things God is nudging me toward.
God hasn’t given us 38 hours a day in which to fulfill our calling—He’s given us 24. And somehow, sleep and nourishment and physical activity and keeping the house relatively clean have to fit in there as well. In fact, by calling, I mean the things you do out of love and obedience to God every moment of your day, sleep and nourishment and physical activity and keeping the house relatively clean included.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Consider taking a few moments to ask yourself:
- What season am I in right now?
- When is the time for this dream and calling I have right now?
- What is the thing that God is calling me to say Yes! to, to the exclusion of other admirable things?
This next statement is credited to several different people—G. K. Chesterton, C. H. Spurgeon, Thomas Carlyle, Jordan Grimes—which underscores the universal wisdom of the words: “If God has called you to be a missionary, I would not have you stoop to be a king.” Those words are imperatively true.
Alternative statements are true as well, though: If God has called you to be a business person, I would not have you stoop to be a pastor. If God has called you to be a writer, I would not have you stoop to be a technician. If God has called you to be a stay-at-home mom, I would not have you stoop to be a salesperson. If God has called you to be a designer, I would not have you stoop to be an educator. Stand tall in the calling and passions that God has planted deep in your heart: They are there for a reason! We are missionaries all, wherever God places us.
All of life is sacred. There is no dividing line between the sacred and the secular. Serve Jesus where you are, in the way that He has called you. And we will see that it is good.
“Sympathy is no substitute for action.”