In a world full of do’s and don’t, you should have’s and must do’s...I’m tired. It is exhausting to sort through the muddle of shoulds, could’s, and must do’s. You need to take these supplements, lather your body with these oils, do this exercise regime, take out this life insurance policy, this dental insurance, oh and, you should probably eat only organic, non-GMO, gluten-and dairy free, wear good quality yoga pants, having big goals, be on social media less (unless you’re running your business, but then who is counting!).
Exercise (oh, did I already mention this? I forgot because my mind is still circling), and don’t forget that you should really homeschool your kids for optimal performance...speaking of optimal, your car...you really should upgrade that hunk of junk! And if you don’t do all of this, hmmm...well, I told you so. There is always going to be someone to “tell you so.” Or maybe that someone is yourself.
Now, before I continue, being the middle-child that I am, I have to make sure I didn’t offend anyone! I want all these things just as much as any of you that sell them, advocate for them, or use these products. I want to feel good, be healthy, look nice and do what’s best for my family, my kids, my car...but not at the cost of losing my soul. If I lose my soul in the process of doing all the right things, what did I gain?
A busy mind.
None of this looks appealing to me, and I bet no company ever will have as their slogan “buy these products and gain discontentment, anxiety, and get the ability to work harder so you can pay out more!” Awesome slogan, I think I might start a company based on these principles. Probably not going to sell, but that’s kinda the point.
If I haven’t lost you yet, read this.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, Message).
This is filling. I feel at peace. I can do this! When life is throwing screwballs at you, sit back, put up your feet, and throw back peace. I am in the process of learning these “unforced rhythms of grace,” and I will tell you, it is not for the fainthearted! All of the “I told you so’s” can be beneficial for you, but you can’t do everything. In this season, I am learning that when I begin to feel anxiety rising in my chest, when I feel overwhelmed, when I feel like a failure, to do one simple thing...sit on my deck, lean back, and put my feet up.
Even if there are a million things I could be doing, sometimes the very thing I need is just to be still. And in the stillness, listen. Jesus wants to tell you something, so you don’t have to be told something by everyone. In the stillness, He just wants to whisper “You are enough. I love you. I made you to be you.” And the beautiful thing is that he doesn’t stop there, he then calls you to something. He gives you purpose, he gives you desires, and he enables you to do it! From that still, quiet place of rest, he will give you the next step. And as we walk in obedience, he gives us the next step and the next. It’s in the doing of that simple task that he asks of us, that we experience freedom from the “I told you so’s” of others.
Listen to this.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word, you must DO what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves" (James 1:22, NLT).
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not fool myself. I would rather walk in simple obedience, allowing Jesus to “tell me so".