“May you drop (the things that consume you) in the pursuit of a simple, disciplined, focused life in which you pursue a few things God has for you. And may you be like Jesus, able to say no, because you’ve already said yes.”
There is a great inspirational video that talks about the sense of overwhelm that most of us live in and contrasts it with the life of Jesus. The church has co-opted our Western culture sensibility that says doing more is always better. The more hours I spend in ministry to others and the more people I interact with, the better.
Ironically, Jesus, our example of how we are to live as men and women, took a completely different tack. He said…
“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.”
That doesn’t sound like the way most Christians I know live, especially the ones involved in ministry. Exhausted, overwhelmed, and tired seem to be the most prevalent adjectives I hear from them. I often hear the well-intentioned desire to do more out of the great need that exists. In my own life, I have had to acknowledge the hubris implied in thinking that everything that needs to be done somehow requires my participation.
The reality is that Jesus’ ministry looked a lot more like spending the majority of time on two basic things:
meeting with and training a small group of leaders
time with the Father
Of course, there were speaking engagements on the side of mountains and gatherings seaside, but those didn’t seem to be the defining elements of his weekly schedule. In fact, the predetermined places most people publicly spoke on the kind of things he taught, he largely stayed away from.
Paul seems to echo these ideas when he is writing to the church in Ephesus:
“So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does. Instead, walk as the wise! Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times. So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly.”
One of the best selling business books of the last few years has become a phenomenon: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. I am not surprised. Greg says disruptive things like:
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of virtually everything.”
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it is about how to get the right things done.”
We are weaving these principles in everything we do and everything we coach. The disciplined pursuit of less is not about avoiding responsibility,
- It is about being more responsible about the right things and forgetting everything else.
- It is about grooming a team that can groom others in an incredible multiplier effect.
- It is about taking more time away to be still, get real quiet, and get really clear about what we are supposed to say “yes” to so that it gets really easy to say “no” to all the rest.
Since we coach from a Kingdom perspective, it is about getting away to get really clear about the assignments He has given us so that we can get comfortable shucking all the rest.
It is uncommon.
It is holy.
It is essential.
- Are you tired and burned out?
- Are you clear about all the things you are saying “yes” to and how that simultaneously means you are saying “no” to a myriad of other things?
- How much ti me are you spending in thoughtful contemplation of what you should be doing?
- How much of how you spend your time is clear, focused, and about the assignment you have been given by Him?