Anybody else tired? I’m not so much tired physically as I am tired of trying to fulfill all the to-do lists posted on all forms of social media. I know. I’ve posted my share and I’m sure I will in the future. The experts tell us we like lists. To a degree they are helpful.
But I can only “to-do” for so long. My various to-do lists have helped me. But deep down I still struggle. On any given day I still will chose a brownie over an apple. I will rationalize a fun purchase at Target. I will put myself before Gene. The to-do lists are doing nothing to really change me. I only feel more guilt and failure.
Near the end of last year God brought me to a place of exhaustion of trying fulfill my to-do lists. I couldn’t read one more. What were the purposes in these lists? To make me better? Honestly, I didn’t care if I became “better.” The only thing that I cared only about was really knowing God. Ahh, just sitting in His loving presence, not working on a list, but only being with Him.
Is that what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)? In my mind I picture myself going over and sitting with Jesus—maybe in a beanbag chair or one of those really big floor pillows.
At His feet in my beanbag chair I can relax and be me.
He’s not reviewing a checklist of what I’ve accomplished. We’re just hanging out. Much like He did with Mary at the infamous dinner when Martha freaked out because she was the only one in the kitchen (Luke 11:38-42). Sitting at His feet, listening to Him, feeling His love.
Now that’s what my tired self needs.
About this same time my friend and agent, Kyle Olund, posted on his Facebook page that he was taking a break from social media to focus on knowing God. He posted a picture of a book he’d had since the 70’s—Knowing God by J.I. Packer. Wow! Talk about a nudge from God! I immediately ordered the book.
I know the book won’t fulfill me. It won’t make me know God better. But it will direct my thoughts and keep me on course to lean in to God, seek Him, and know Him better.
In John 15 Jesus talks more about this place of relationship and being with Him. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (verse4). Jesus said that from this place of being with Him we will receive His to-do list for us and the power and strength to do it. By leaning into God and relationship with Him we will have a fulfilling life—knowing God and purposeful, fruitful service for Him.
Yes, we do need to make our lives count for God. But too often we get caught up in the doing. We miss the most important point that Jesus called us to—be with Him in relationship. From this relationship our doing comes. And the thing is no matter how many lists we accomplish or how many failures we have, God loves us just the same. That is the place of comfort and peace I always want live in.
What about you? Are you tired of trying to achieve? Does sitting with Jesus sound just like what you need? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.