Friday, July 3, 2009

The balance between doing hard things and just plain busyness

Well, I was telling Cara about this the other day, but I have been thinking much about this and thought I would post on it.

I started this summer off so determined not to waste my summer that I am starting to do just the opposite. I think I have taken on too much. Where now, instead of doing a few things well, I'm doing many things and not doing them the best I could. bottom line: Busyness does not equal fruitfulness

As I read an article by CJ Mahaney today, he said:

  • Busyness does not mean I am diligent
  • Busyness does not mean I am faithful
  • Busyness does not mean I am fruitful
If I'm 'busy', but whatever I'm busy with is not fruitful, then I am wasting my time.

For example. I have not been faithful to reply to the DHT questions. I have been faithful to read the chapters and post the questions. I but I basically read the chapter and then checked it off my list of things to do for the week. So, I haven't really benefited from the study and there hasn't been any fruit.

I think I am going through too many books right now. I'm trying to read throuhg 9 different books(several of them are some type of group study) and instead of growing through these things, it's turning into a very non-productive and unfruitful thing.

If you can't already tell, I'm the type of girl that wants to do everything and wants to be involved in everything. I want to take everything and I want to make everything work. I want to grow spiritually. But, I'm slowly learning that doing a 'hard thing' is not always being busy and being involved in everything. I'm learning that doing a hard thing is to discern when I should participate in something and when I'm just going through the motions with another thing I signed up for or took on.

There is a difference in between doing hard things and just doing too much.

So, I'm going to be praying on what God wants me to focus on. I may have to narrow a few things down, or maybe just push something off until the future. If I don't, I don't think I'm going to be serving God like I could be. I want to to be balanced for the rest of this summer and throught this upcoming school year. As it's only going to get fuller with work and school.

I will continue to post the weekly DHT study questions, but I'm starting to feel led to drop that study for now so I can pursue excellence in other things. I will restart my weekly accountablity posts, as long as someone is growing from them.

Lastly, I would like to see if any of you have thoughts on this topic. Have any of you had this same struggle? How did you narrow things down? After you narrowed things down to what you felt more led to do, did you see more growth? Does anyone have any verses to share that reminds them of this topic?

I apperciate your thoughts and I hope you all undertstand,
Emily Joy


Wesley said...

I can totally relate to that. Busyness definitely does not equal faithfulness. I know this, 'cause I am super, super slow at responding to messages and emails. I feel like I'm getting so much done, but if I'm not being faithful in one area of my life, I'm not really being faithful (thus not being fruitful). Thanks for posting this!

Melly Rose said...

Great thoughts, Emily! What one is doing is just as important as the time spent doing it!

Cara said...

Yep, priorities are definitely a trouble spot for me. I tell my mom consisently that I have too many ideas and too little time! And as I also tell her, "balance is the toughest word in the English language" :-).

Here's what has helped me:
1) Know your ultimate goals. I want to grow in the Lord. I want to improve my writing skills. I want to be able to play my whole piano book. Whatever.
2) Figure out what helps and what hinders these goals.
3) Don't forget to do what you have to (chores) or are expected to do (babysit or something like that).
4) Make the things you don't want to do your first priority. Everything else will be a relief.
So there's your long answer to a short question :-).
Wesley, why didn't you comment on my "anybody home?" post?

Anonymous said...

Emily, you just did a hard thing!! I know exactly what you mean. I want to do everything. There is so much to do and I can't stand to sit still. The fall is going to be super busy for me, so I have to take the extra things into account and line them up with my goals and what God would want me to do. I read that article by CJ. It's really good. I haven't been answering the DHT questions lately, either. If we are going to continue the discussion(I totally understand if we're not), then could we add one question? "How are you going to apply this to your life this week?" or something to that effect. I think that would help us all more than answering all the other questions like a Sunday school lesson.

Ephesians 5:15-18 = "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

I think CJ said in a message something about humans only being able to remember one thing, so don't try to apply all ten things mentioned in a sermon or a book, but to take out of it the one thing that God is impressing on your heart to do.
Hope this helps and I'll be checking in with you to see how it's goin'. =)