As we ring in a new year, we analyze the past year and resolve to do better in the next. I hate resolutions and I never make them. But I am sick and tired of feeling unproductive. Of being tossed to and fro with different tasks. What to do first, what is the priority? I set goals for myself but never accomplish them. Sick. And. Tired. Maybe these are goals I should trash for good. Or maybe I just sabotage myself because of my fears, distractions, my chaotic thoughts. I know I’m here to glorify God, but how do I do that? Am I doing that, even in my menial daily chores?
So when Tim Challies announced his 10 Days of Productivity, I signed up immediately.
Then came our Pastor David Whitla’s sermon entitled One Thing Is Needed where he expounded on the story of Mary and Martha. Please click the link to listen and be blessed. No, Martha, you’re not a bad girl. Serving is needed, serving is good. Jesus came to serve. No, Mary, you are not being negligent or lazy or cruel to your sister. Mary is listening to Jesus, savoring the moment. She’s sitting at his feet, paying attention. That’s the best thing to do when we entertain guests.
I have a rule in my home. When I have guests for dinner, I don’t clean up in front of them nor do I dare let them lift a finger. I just hate that. They didn’t come over to watch me clean up and I didn’t invite them to work for me. I wanted their company. They were invited. I like to be part of the conversation. I don’t want to miss that. So never mind the dirty dishes. They can be washed the next day just as easily (especially if I’ve soaked them overnight).
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. – Luke10:42
Of course this was more than a lesson in hospitality. It was a lesson about love and devotion. How can we love Jesus and adore Him more? How can we better glorify God?
That’s why my heart lept when Challies offered this crash course in productivity. I’d been wrestling with what to do with myself ever since I quit my day job. Not twiddling my thumbs with boredom, mind you. Just the opposite – wanting to do too many things. God has given me creative talents, one of them being a desire to write. Should I even write this blog? Last year had fewer posts per month. I was too busy. Other things took priority. Things that I’m not sure should have had priority. Ugh.
It was no coincidence when Psalm 127 repeatedly appeared — both in my pastor’s sermon and in the intro of Tim Challies’ book, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:1, 2 ESV
I don’t want that bread of anxious toil. I want that peace that is given by the Bread of Life. Devotion to Him; delight in Him. Communion with God is the most important thing. Those daily devotions, sitting at His feet. That’s the #1 priority I need to do better.
Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions when he was 18 years old. I love #5. I don’t ever want to waste time. I want to redeem my time well for God’s glory alone. This is a great message to start the new year. Ponder on these three things, as Jonathan Edwards did:
- The shortness of life
- The suddenness of death
- The length of eternity
So I kinda combined these lessons and hope to truly learn them this coming year. Yes, Tim, I’m following along in your 10 Days of Productivity, so I can better organize my tasks and know my priorities. But I know that if I do just one thing every day, the one thing needful, I can be at peace knowing I’ve done the best thing.
Happy New Year!