Countercultural

Look Deeper, See Clearer, Run Harder

How to Not Do Everything and Still Have Joy

In my quiet time this morning, I felt pressured, even a little desperate. I realized in a moment of introspection that I’m incapable of carrying all of life’s responsibility.

Life is a juggling act

Photo Credit: Shannon Henry via Compfight cc

My life is made up of several callings, including:

  • A boyfriend
  • A roommate
  • A son
  • A brother
  • A friend
  • An employee
  • A writer
  • A Christian

I feel inadequate because I realize– I can’t fulfill every role completely. And this balancing act won’t get easier; it’ll get harder.

Someday I’ll be a more serious writer. Someday I’ll get a promotion. Someday I’ll get married. Someday I’ll have children. We call this wild juggling act “life,” and it’s hard.

The Burden of Now and Not Yet

This burden I carry (and I would guess very similar to the one you’re carrying) has two sides.

First, there’s the now. We feel like life is so slow it’s not even moving. We kick into survival mode and get trapped in the mundane because that’s the only option we see today.

Then there’s the not yet. We feel dissatisfied because we wish we were farther along. We’re tired of waiting.

Two Life-Altering Truths

If my satisfaction were dependent on me, then I would work harder, focus deeper, and ultimately fall short. Working hard and focusing aren’t bad, but I’m convinced they’re byproducts. Faithfulness and joy come from two life-altering realizations:

  1. God is sovereign
  2. God is for you.

These two truths change everything. My ability to fulfill all of life’s requirements is flaky at best. God has never failed:

Isaiah 46:9-10 For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

God accomplishes everything He intends, and He intends us good.

Romans 8:28 And for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Faithfulness and joy become the overflow. Even if I don’t see how today affects my future, I’m faithful – God will work His purposes. Even if I fail, I’m joyful – God is working my life for good, insufficiencies and all.

By being faithful, I open the door for what God wants to do. By being joyful, I keep my eyes open to see Him work along the way.

The tension is real. So is the hope in God.

Psalm 43:3-5 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.