Max Lucado, in his book Cure for the Common Life quotes Mark 6:31. “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. Lucado tells us:
Jesus practiced crowd control more than once. People brought Jesus more than sick bodies and seeking souls. They brought him agendas. Itineraries. Unsolicited advice. The herd of humanity wanted to set Jesus’ course. “Heed us,” they said. “We’ll direct your steps.” They say the same to you. Look over your shoulder, my friend. The crowd is one step back. Where you should work. Whom you should marry. What you should study. They will lead your life if you allow them. Jesus didn’t.
Lucado gives many examples of Jesus sending away the crowds or leaving the crowds to be alone. Now, here’s the kicker that Lucado hits us with. He said no to good things so he could say yes to the RIGHT thing: his unique call.
I could spend my time doing many ‘good’ things: volunteering at my kids’ school, cleaning my closet, balancing my checkbook, or even more fun things like finding new recipes, redecorating my living room or shopping for cute shoes for that cocktail party on Friday.
Two things to take away from this. First, you have to spend time being quiet to be able to focus on your unique call or to figure out what your unique call IS. Second, you have to take control and be willing to drive your life instead of letting other people drive it. Sure, there needs to be a balance. Some of those other tasks are valuable (or maybe even all of them). You may want to attend your daughter’s 4th grade Valentine’s Day party.(I want my children to remember me being present, not locked away in my studio all the time.) It’s also probably a good idea to balance your checkbook once in a while, or bake a cake for your church bake sale, or send money to Haiti. All good things. However, it’s important to focus the majority of your time on your unique thing. Here’s the litmus test that Lucado nailed dead-on for me: Does your calendar reflect your passion? Ugghhh..I spend a lot of time on the computer. Sometimes procrastinate painting and read blogs instead. TV? Some. Are any of those things my passion. Uh….no. My goal is to block out my calendar and live more deliberately. Focusing on what is really important to me. We’ll see how it goes!