By Christie Love, Founder and Executive Director of LeadHer
This month our LeadHer Local chapters are talking about the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation. We have discussed it in the context of learning to respond to problems, people, and conflicts in our lives in ways that are prayerfully processed and God directed. I have been processing a thought for the last couple of weeks that I want to share with you in light of this month’s critical theme and discussion. I want to explore the concept of learning to respond, instead of react, to another critical area of our lives and leadership… our schedules, our commitment, and our time.
Life is busy. Invitations are frequent. Expectations are high. Calendars quickly fill up and it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed and over committed. I read a quote recently by Henry Ford that said, “The great weakness of all human beings is trying to do too many things at once.”
I want to purpose that overcommittment is a form of reacting to busyness instead of responding to busyness. Here is what I mean: Often our first reaction to people’s request for our time and energy is an obligatory “yes”. However, many times our “yes” does not line up with God’s “yes”. It is critical then that we learn to discipline ourselves when people make a request of us to not simply react in agreement but ask for time to pray for direction from God before committing to anything.
Am I saying that living in God’s will is going to be slow paced and peaceful– NOT AT ALL. What I am saying and what I want to challenge you to ponder is this statement: There is a difference between being busy by choosing and busy by calling. There are times in our life that God calls us to be busy for him – there is no doubt about that. Yet He will never call us to be so busy that we do not have time for Him, His people, or His word. Sadly, in seasons of busyness these are often the first things that are sacrificed to make more room in our limited hours for other things.
I talk to so many women each month- in many of these conversations the topic comes around to the issue of exhaustion. Women are worn out and weary. All of our reactionary “Yes”s have us running at a pace that is impossible to sustain in a healthy way for any significant period of time. Keep this truth in mind: God promises to give us strength for all that HE has called us to do… not necessarily all that we choose to do on our own.
I found this image in a book that I am currently reading Church Unique by Will Mancini- it is called The Clarity Funnel and it does a great job of illustrating for us the important difference between all that we can do (choices) and the things that we must do (callings).
I have personally been challenged by this concept the last few weeks and I share it today in hopes of challenging others as well.
Imagine the impact that you could have on the world around you if you were better able to focus on the things that God called you to respond to instead of all of the things that you react to and commit to daily because of pressure or expectation.