Do you ever feel as if your head is spinning? You know, with all the demands on your time and attention? Or do you struggle with what to do next because so many responsibilities are calling for your attention? I know for me, there are times when daily life can feel kind of overwhelming! I ask myself, “Where does all the time go? How can I get everything done?” Whoosh!
But here’s the deal: when we step back and consider our harried schedules compared to God’s plan for our lives, there can be quite a disparity. We wonder how we can survive all the demands. And then Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Yes, Jesus wants to give us rest and peace. But I can’t count the number of Christian people who write to me and talk about how they just don’t have enough time to do the things they really want to do. Or if they can carve out the time . . . they don’t have the money to make the changes in their lives that they want.
I get it. I’ve been there. And I praise God that He’s helped me figure some things out so I don’t miss out on His call or my hopes! So I want to ask you a question. But first start thinking about your hopes and desire . . .
Think of something you really want to do. It might be redecorating the living room. Or learning a new skill. Maybe you want to improve your relationship with your spouse or with your teen son or daughter.
You may have a desire to spend an hour in prayer and study each morning. Or read through the Bible in a year.
You may want to drop the weight you gained over the last year or save the money you would have to have for a family vacation.
For now, think about one thing you want to do that feels out of reach for you.
Now here’s the question: Maybe you can’t do it all, but what can you do?
For example, redecorating the living room in the way you want it might be a $2,500 price tag and you just don’t have the money right now. But what can you do to brighten up the space? Can you add some colorful pillows? Can you move the furniture around and add some plants to the room? Can you take some used wooden crates and repurpose them into your “new coffee table?”
You can’t do it all, but what can you do?
The same goes for improving a relationship. Maybe a romantic-movie-type relationship isn’t the picture of life for you and your spouse. But what can you do to add a bit of fun and romance to your days? Can you prepare your husband’s favorite meal and then set the dinner table with a simple bouquet of flowers? Say, “Honey, I know this is your favorite dinner so I wanted to make it special for you tonight.” No strings attached. No “now what’s he going to do for me?” Just a sweet gesture of love and appreciation. Keep planting seeds of simple acts of love and kindness and see how your relationship will grow!
Your schedule might need some rearranging before you can dedicate an hour each morning for prayer and Bible study. But how about starting with 15 or 20 minutes. Or until you can read through the Bible, perhaps you can read one chapter in the Gospels as a beginning point.
Like I said, you may not be able do it all, but what can you do?
Or that dream vacation you want. Maybe that trip to England you’ve always wanted is out of touch for now . . . but how about a long-weekend getaway to an old-fashioned bed and breakfast in a charming town? That’s very doable with a little planning.
Dropping 30 pounds may seem like an uphill battle. But how about three pounds?
Saving $5,000 seems impossible. But how about opening up a special savings account and adding $100 each month . . . then watch your savings grow as you get more and more excited! Before you know it, you’ll find more dollars to add to the account and you’ll reach your goal.
You can’t do it all, but what can you do?
So often we accept defeat because we can’t reach our goal immediately. So we give up. We settle into the same old patterns and don’t make progress. But when you start moving forward toward your aspirations and dreams, then an inner change takes place. You gain momentum. You make different choices. You set defeat aside and start enjoying hope and progress.
Zechariah 4:10 speaks to this very issue, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
Every journey begins with the first step. Every structure is built with that first cornerstone. Every dream is realized because it started with a first action.
So what is one thing you want? And then what can you do to take the “small beginning?”
Now here is the really cool thing that happens when we decide to get unstuck and start to take action: joy springs up in our soul. And then we start to experience that peace and rest that Jesus tells us about. It’s there waiting for us . . . if we choose to take action.
True, you may not be able to do or have it all right now, but what can you do? The choice to take action it yours. And the Lord is there to bless you and guide you as you continue to move forward!