Pacing Ourselves

We all need to be responsible, but we do not need to expect excessive things of ourselves.  We do not need to work at an excessive pace.  We do our best work when we are “In our groove”. That is, we are working at a pace that gets the work done but also respects our needs for peace, enjoyment, and fulfillment as we are working.

Expecting too much of ourselves results in excessive stress that inhibits doing our best work.  In long distance running someone who runs too hard in the beginning or middle of the race has very little energy left at the end.  In baseball, a player who expects too much of himself when he or she is batting gets in the way of doing his best work.  The player does best when he or she practices ahead of time, relaxes while batting, and trusts that he or she can hit the ball when it is pitched to him.

God certainly created us to be productive.  God told the first man and woman to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it”, and to have dominion over every living thing upon the earth. That is quite the commission!  So, God expects us to work and to be productive. But many of us try too hard. We take our responsibilities too seriously.  We think that  success depends solely upon us. As a result, we are excessively tired and stressed.  

One problem is that we get our sense or worth mixed up in our work.  When we do so we must, accomplish, fix, and excel, in order to prove our worth.  But our worth has already been proven by God when He created us and said of us, along with the rest of creation, that we are “good”.   It was proven by Jesus Christ who showed how much we are worth when He gave His life for us.  And our worth is proven by God who loves us so much that He is with us every day helping us do our work. In other words, God loves us so much that He wants to spend the day with us

We are stewards or managers. God is the owner.  We are working for God. And we do our best work when we do God’s work in God’s way in God’s time. When we find ourselves to   constantly stressed, tired, fearful and worried, we have something out of “whack”-out of balance.

In her book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie said, “Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard.  Go in gentleness, go in peace…Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace…Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Do it in peace.  Cherish each moment”.

Do whatever you are called to do at this time in your life, but pace yourself  knowing you are not expected to do more than you can do in peace , and that God will help you do it!

Finally, Jesus said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.