I’m on vacation.
Resting… Playing… Recharging… Praying… and, Listening.
It’s been a really busy, crazy, fast-paced, exciting and exhausting season of life and ministry.
So, during a walk along the beach, I felt the Lord ask, “How long do you intend to live like this?
I was reminded of a series that I preached at Courage Church a few years ago called: “Margin” — I think I need to preach it again TO MYSELF. This series really challenged me in some of the fundamental areas of my life. And, you know what? Looking at and adjusting our schedules and daily disciplines can turn out to be one of the most spiritual things we can do!
MARGIN = The Amount Available Beyond What Is Necessary.
So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely.16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times.17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:15-17
If you don’t tell time where to go, you’ll be asking it where it went.
GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF GREAT. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of organizations never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good – and that is the main problem. — Jim Collins
So, with this in mind, I need to eliminate or adjust some ‘good‘ things in my life that are robbing me of GREAT things!
Allow me to challenge you to do FIVE things:
- Confess those areas of your life in prayer that are causing too much busyness. Ask for God’s help.
- Also, as you pray, ask God to give you the strength to say no to good things so that you can say yes to GREAT things!
- Listen for God’s response. Take notes.
- Commit to God the things you will do immediately that will allow you to create more margin in your schedule.
- Be amenable. Get with someone who knows you well, and talk to them about the changes that you’re putting into motion TODAY.
“Life is tons of discipline.” ~ Robert Frost
Here’s a few things I feel like God is asking me to adjust:
- First is Distractions. Life has enough distractions without me creating them. When I’m with those that I love or serve; I’m putting down the mobile devices or anything else that’s competing for their attention. Seems like in today’s world, we’re all a bit ADD (attention deficit disorder) — we get distracted super easy. Let’s make it easier to help people engage in meaningful relationship. Stop multitasking and ask the Lord to help us slow down our brains and really listen.
- Second is Latenight Media. I’m a late-night guy and get lots accomplished after my family is in bed – that’s a good thing (and at times, a great thing)… but God tapped me on the shoulder and said “at 11pm: read, journal, pray but turn the POWER off on TV, Macbook, iPad, etc.” – I’ll get more focused and get more sleep! Win/Win — another good to GREAT move!
- Third is Queen Time. My wife needs and deserves more of my MARGIN! So, I’m returning to a previous plan of asking HER to pick one breakfast, lunch or dinner each week — our lives & schedules are unique – so the cute little immoveable “date night” won’t work (plus, it’s kind of annoying when people make a HUGE deal about their immoveable night)… we’re a bit more flexible than that! Plus, it will be fun to mix it up and try unique places at unique times! Ultimately, this time is for me to value & listen to my queen speak! She’s my best friend. This commitment should expand my family time too!
- Fourth is Health & Fitness. I’ve had been much more deliberate about what I eat (MyFitnessPal app) and also exercising daily (Running, biking and Nike+ Fuelband)… and then the move happened to Lansing. Somewhere in the busyness I stopped be intentional about this and gained weight & lost discipline (in this area). Well, I’m more resolved than ever to lose weight and increase my energy. I also plan to figure out a course of action for when winter arrives — my fitness suffers when I can run & play. Ask me about this later this Fall!
- So, number Five is Prayer & Journaling. Yes, I already do both of these a lot. But, we must increase the good things in our lives to crowd out the not-so-good or average things. I’m still seeking the Lord about a new book idea — so, I need to increase the discipline of writing. And, my need to be in the Lord’s presence has only increased. I’m so thankful that I serve with a pastor who loves prayer and a home & church that provides lots of unique places to do it!