My gift to Jesus on his “birthday” last Christmas was to change the next thing.
I had no idea what it would be, but I figured there must be something else I needed to work on, some area of my life He might like to refine. So I said okay and gave Him permission for the next thing without knowing what He might ask of me.
Well, let me tell you something: He is speaking to me lately. He is making His message loud and clear.
Writing here about my tendency towards being overwhelmed has really gotten me thinking more deeply again. This, combined with a huge internet conspiracy where everything I read seems to relate to one topic, has convinced me. The next thing in my life is named Discipline.
It also goes by the names of Diligence and Perseverance.
Reading The Introvert Advantage taught me to accept my lower energy levels. I’m not lazy! I thought gleefully, I’m merely introverted.
A burden of guilt lifted from my shoulders, and it put me in a healthy place to realize something today:
I am, in fact, somewhat lazy.
I’m laughing as I write this. It sounds so ridiculous. To learn self acceptance first, just so I can finally admit my laziness and ask God to help me change it, seems so… counter intuitive. Crazy, even. But there you go. I finally stopped obsessing over the guild-laden issue enough that I could step back and see it more clearly when the time came. Today, I can confess to you that I am a sluggard. And I can confess it without guilt or shame.
I feel remorseful, and I want to change, but I don’t feel crushed under the weight of it. Amazing!
So how can I, a person with low energy levels and a lack of self discipline, become less lazy?
Well, I happened to read Proverbs 6:6 a couple days ago:
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
And the lovely thing was that it came in a non-condemning package: What to do when you’re overwhelmed. When the task is too big, and you tremble in fear at its size.
Look at the ant.
It moves mountains, one grain of sand at a time.
It just keeps going, plodding along, carrying that one small speck.
And eventually, something big has happened; an anthill has been made; a colony housed; tunnels created. A mountain has been moved.
I can do that. I can move one small grain of sand.
Lord, please help me develop diligence. Enable me to stop giving up, to stop making excuses, to begin to just do the work. To break down the task into small bites instead of trembling in fear at the mountain.
What do you do when you’re overwhelmed by the tasks at hand?