I am so dependent on my calendar. Not only do I place the times and dates of my appointments in it, I also color code those appointments, so at a glance I can tell whether it is a ministry, a family, or a counseling appointment. What I sometimes neglect to remember is that the calendar is only as effective as how I access it to make and confirm appointments. What I’m saying is that I have a tendency to agree to tasks and meetings without consulting my calendar to see what that day truly looks like. What then occurs is a weariness to my day as well as my week. Again, my choices will affect whether I place myself on overload or in the will of God.
Let’s look at this together this way. For every guilt-driven yes means a no to something else. Every day holds 24 hours, and as gifted as we may be at multitasking, there are definite and concrete limits to what we can do in any given day. We will routinely shortchange the top priorities of our lives. We’re irritable and impatient with those we love. We forfeit our need for sleep. Because of these “choices” we begin to pass through many days oblivious to the presence of God.
Let’s look at how Jesus handles appointments and choices. When word got out that Jesus had healed Peter’s mother-in-law, a crowd gathered and He ministered to them very late into the night. Early the next morning when He slipped away to a quiet place to pray, the disciples went looking for Him. They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for you.” Mark 1:37 But note how Jesus responded, “Let us go somewhere else.” Jesus teaches us by His example, He is Spirit-led, not guilt driven.
So what I heard from God is that before I assume I’ve been called to meet every need that comes up, it’s ok to say, “Let me pray about it and I’ll get back to you.” Then I will pray, listen carefully, and make my decision based on how I answer this question: Will saying yes to this request mean having to say no to something else that’s important? If you feel overwhelmed too, then maybe that is a question you need to add before adding one more thing on your plate.
We all need to remember to recognize what you’ve been called to do for the season of life you’re in; it takes honesty, humility, and courage to follow through. When you face an appointment or task that you know will put you on overload, even if you’re willing to pay the price, are you willing to commit your family to pay the price as well? Think about that.
Every yes means something else becomes a no.