It has been said that the greatest enemy of the great, is the good.
It can be a really good thing to be the president of your architecture association, a reporter for your college news station, to have an internship or a job, or to make the dean’s list, but there is such a thing as too much.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt stressed. Ever thought you had way too many things on your plate and that something had to go? Oh, I’m with you. I know I can’t see your hand raised, but I know that I’m not the only one out there who’s felt beat down because I over-committed myself.
Why do we over-commit ourselves? Do we know how to say no? Do we feel more important when our schedule is packed?
We live in a culture where busyness is glorified – but you and I don’t need to buy into that. Yes, there are times that we will be busy, but we are not meant to be busy all the time. That’s a lie that the world tells us. The Lord does not want that for your life.
When we begin to equate our busy schedule and commitments with our sense of self-worth or importance or identity, a real problem comes into play.
First and foremost, you are a daughter or son of God. You have infinite worth and dignity because you were made in His likeness.
You are a human being, not a human doing. Too often, we instead place our identity in what we do rather than who we are.
But when was the last time you let yourself “be”?
In undergrad, I didn’t let myself “be” or have “me” time very often. My schedule looked something like this:
But one day, something changed. Rushing around the corner in my campus center, I ran into Daniel, a FOCUS missionary on my campus, and he said, “Wow, Joanna, you are the BWOC!” (If you’re confused, so was I. Thankfully, he immediately explained.) “You’re the Busiest Woman on Campus.”
I gave a half-hearted smile, a nervous laugh and said, “Yeah, I guess I’m kinda busy… Well, I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go! Off to my group meeting!” But as I was rushing away, I thought to myself, “Is that really what I want to be known as?”
This experience happened five years ago, yet I still remember it like it happened last week.
My identity is not and should not have been the Busiest Woman on Campus. There’s no amount of clubs, classes, or leadership positions – nothing – that will completely fulfill us.
Why? Well, you’re made for Heaven. I’m made for Heaven. And anything less than that will never make the cut. No matter how hard we try.
I can’t tell you what to cut out of your schedule or the secret number of things you can be in while being happy (there isn’t one), having a regular social life, and building your resume, but I will propose to you two points of consideration to help you make that decision:
1) Learn to say no. Not every opportunity presented to you, no matter how “good” it may seem, is right for you. 2) Pray. Ask the Lord who you are in His eyes and nothing else.
Question: Is what you’re doing going to help you get to Heaven? Or is it a stumbling block to your relationship with God? Are you placing your identity in Christ or the things you do?