I intended to write my weekly gratitude post and a Memorial Day post, but I got sidetracked by a question that hit me today as I was reading Day 10 of this devotional plan from YouVersion.com.
The title was “A Sustainable Life,” and in it Joyce Meyer explains what she means by that. It’s very well-written and thought-provoking, and the main point is this: if what you’re doing causes you to wonder how much longer you can keep it up, or if your health is in jeopardy because of the pace you’re keeping, you’ve got to stop and rest. I’ve written about this before, and obviously I haven’t learned my lesson. God used this devotional to hit me again with Psalm 90:12 (NIV1984):
“Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Despite understanding what that means, I’m still doing too much. I’m putting my health in jeopardy by staying up too late, not eating well (or enough), pushing myself past the point of exhaustion, and thinking that I must do everything, every day. I can’t.
Not only am I feeling the physical effects of this lifestyle, but I’m losing myself in the process. The things I need to do for my spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being are getting pushed to the side because I’m too busy doing other things that are urgent, but not important.
In the process, I’m sacrificing:
- time to read each day, both for entertainment and to learn about subjects that interest me
- time to do more in-depth Bible study and extensive Bible reading
- time to journal to figure out what’s really bothering me so I can bring it to God and leave it there
- time to write for my blog and other projects God has opened up for me
Even with a sustainable lifestyle, I realize that I can’t accomplish everything on that list every single day, either. I must begin my days with prayer, asking for the heart of wisdom mentioned in the Psalm so that I can bring God’s order to my day. I must put the important before the urgent, with God and my family (in the above picture) taking first priority. I believe that when I get my priorities right, God will bring everything else into line. He will help me to do what He has called me to do, and the rest will have to wait or get crossed off the list completely.
It’s time to say, “No. My schedule is full. I would love to, but I can’t do that now.” The opportunities God is bringing to me are amazing. I want to have the time and energy to pursue them after taking care of first things first.
My current lifestyle isn’t sustainable, but I’m making changes, starting now. I’m going to hit “Publish” and go to bed.
What changes can you make so your lifestyle is sustainable? If you’re already on the right path, please share your tips, strategy, or plan in the comments below!