"'Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"
One of my high school teachers used the example of plate spinners. They spin a plate on top of a stick, but the real trick is they have multiple plates spinning on multiple sticks. They run back and forth tending each plate to make sure none tumble and shatter. I view tasks like those plates, and I truly enjoy managing how to complete all of my tasks in the amount of time I have without letting one fall and shatter, so to speak. How many plates can I spin at once?
This mentality evokes a certain urgency that spreads throughout my whole day-to-day life. Everything relates to how much time I have and what I need to do in order to make sure none of my plates are falling. It even affects my quiet time with the Lord. I find it difficult to keep my thoughts on the same subject, or am so worried about needing to learn something in the time I have, I can’t focus enough to actually learn it. In short, it becomes my idol.
Sometimes it takes God stopping me in my tracks with sickness before I realize how far down that road I’ve gone. Sometimes I can feel it in the way my body feels - I can feel the urgency. I have to stop and say, “Am I really pressed for time?” And if I am, “Should I be?”
God has taught me - and this is one lesson I must constantly relearn - it is better not to accomplish all of the tasks, but rather to “cease striving, and know that [He is] God...” (Psalm 46:10). Rather than see how many plates I can spin, I should be on the lookout for how many plates He wants me to spin.
With each new task, I must ask myself, “Will taking this on permeate my life with urgency?” I may very well be able to take on and complete the task along with all the others I have, but will I be sacrificing my “calm” to do it? Having time to relax is highly important, and God reminds me of this every time I try to sacrifice it.
Is your life constantly on-the-go? Do you have difficulty meditating upon His Word? If so, pray and ask if He wants you to cut something out. Ask what He would have you do. If He truly wants you to do it all, then He will also provide a way to do it. How great is our God?