Thursday, October 15, 2015

Control or Rest

Sometimes my work feels light, 
and then there are times when it feels heavy. 
Like a big weight bearing down on my shoulders. 

How can we become so obsessed with our work that it becomes a burden and  a crushing load that causes us stress, and nearly destroys us at times? 

Somehow we can find ourselves swept into the mindset that everything depends on us, that it is our own efforts that are the most important. That we alone are responsible for the results and the outcome of our hard work. 

This can be true of all that we do as mothers (our days are filled with unending joy, but also unending work), and it can be true of whatever work we are involved with - whether it be a part-time or full-time outside-the-home job, or whether it be in serving and volunteering. 

I sometimes find myself adopting this mindset at times. For example, it creeps up on me when I am preparing for a big, special family event. There is much work to do to prepare for twenty-two family members to be home - rooms to be cleaned, food to be prepared, etc. And instead of enjoying each day's tasks and responsibilities, it is easy for me to become obsessed with wanting to do everything in such a way that somehow I can control the outcome. And the outcome I often desire to control is that I want everyone to feel loved, and want everyone to have the most wonderful time of their lives while they are home! Which is a good thing to desire, but is this really something that I can control?

It is good to work hard and give our best, to plan and to pray - but do we sometimes cross over the line of what is our responsibility, and ... what is God's? Do we sometimes think that we are in control, that it is all up to us? 

Do we forget what we are called to? 

Walk with Me
and work with Me - 
watch how I do it ...
Keep company with Me
and you'll learn to live
freely and lightly.
(from Matthew 11:28-30)

Instead of having outcomes be our focus, our first and foremost focus is a Person. Our focus: walking with Him, working with Him ... and He is the one who accomplishes what He desires to do. We are called to do our part, and He will accomplish His part. 

I'm discovering that the subtle difference between
my work feeling heavy and my work feeling light
lies 100 percent on whether or not
I'm holding on to the outcome of my work.
(Emily Freeman, Simply Tuesday)

It is all about keeping company with Him. Today. Each day. Focusing on Him, taking steps - one step after another, following closely. Obeying, trusting, depending on Him.

There is a daily-ness to my work, a small-moment perspective
that whispers for me to connect with the work in my right-now hands,
not because it's going to become something Big and Important,
but because Someone who is Big and Important 
is here, with me, in my today.
(Emily Freeman, Simply Tuesday)

Our focus is purposeful. 
The outcome is His.

Lord, teach me to keep my eyes on You. To not try to figure out the result, or control the outcome of my work. To simply walk with You, and work with You, releasing control of the outcome of my work to You.

- - - - - - -

Thoughts and perspective as I am reading through Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World (from chapters 4-6).

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