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Are we good at things that don’t matter?

9.19.2023 • 1 Comment

What if the things we’re really good at doing, are the things that don’t really matter? 

Lately, I have been wrestling with this thought a lot. My thyroid issues mean I experience a lot of fatigue and don’t have the same capacity as so many of my mom friends. Just the other day I was texting several that we couldn’t go somewhere and it was because we had so many commitments surrounding that timeframe. I knew it would be best to rest even though we technically had the time slot open. 

Do you ever feel guilty for that? Guilty to simply rest? I know I do! I feel like I’ve constantly been reminded of my low capacity lately and it feels impossible to not to feel bad for it. 

I’m going through Proverbs right now and one verse really hit me like a ton of bricks. 

Proverbs 10:5 says “He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.”

I almost got mad reading it. Like I don’t feel enough shame. I even thought this is NOT a verse for doers! This isn’t a verse for people struggling to rest. And in my frustration, I started asking questions. 

What actually is harvest? Is it possible it’s less than what I’m attempting to take on? And how often am I confusing busy work for the harvest? 

I see myself as the lazy one so often. Why can’t I keep up? This verse was painful because I saw all work equally. I had no discernment for the difference between actual harvest work and those things I added on top of it.

Are we good at things that don't matter?by Valerie Woerner, rest, laziness, prayer tips, busy schedule, discerning importance, God's timing

What is the harvest in our life?

I’d argue it’s the things that matter to God. That’s the big obvious answer, but I don’t know what that looks like in your life. 

At our small group last week, we talked about what people group we felt most compassion for. For some it was single moms, kids in poverty, kids with abusive parents or the elderly. We all had different answers! God designed us all to carry different burdens and thank God He never asked us to be God and care for everything. 

The thing is, we’ve got the job of discerning what is important. We’ve got to decide what our calendars will look like and what we will give our money to. 

We cannot leave this up to chance! 

We can’t just hope this will all work. 

We can’t assume someone else will protect our time and not ask for favors if they know we shouldn’t do something. 

Bruce Hindmarsh calls busyness moral laziness. We’re unwilling to do the work of deciding if something is right for us to do and we put that responsibility on others. And the reality is, the world has a very different idea of how you should spend your life. 

Have you seen the schedules of American kids? 

The Lord has put on my heart a burden for our over-packed schedules and lives run by activities in rushing through two different places and meals on the go instead of around the table. 

I think partly because I don’t have that high capacity where it looks like this life could work just fine, but also because when I started studying margin 10 years ago, it showed me a whole new world that I didn’t really know existed but it was so good! 

So what do we do? 

I’ll be honest, I’m in a new season of wrestling feeling new pressures. I got really good at margin in the toddler phase. It looked like not overbooking all trampoline park dates, not buying all the toys and instead, lots of walks in the park and not much screentime. 

But as we enter the sports world, I’m feeling pressure all over again. How do we decide what’s worth it? Sure, every opportunity has something worthwhile but is it worth the cost? Is it worth the missed dinners around the table that always anchors us even if our days are busy? Is it worth afternoons spent running to and from the neighbor’s house or going to squeeze my nephews for a little while so my sister can get a break?

That’s why we can’t leave this to chance. Nothing we’d say yes to is inherently evil. I’m not deciding whether to sign Vivi up for a life of crime robbing banks. Easy no. I’m discerning whether adding another afternoon activity is worth it. 

I feel like I end so many posts not telling you a clear answer but I hope it’s clear that that’s kind of our thing. We talk about a lot of things in the freedom realm and not the issues of our faith that are black and white. 

That’s the beauty of a relationship with Jesus (among many beauties!). We don’t know everything but He does and He’s willing to guide us in our journey here on earth. 

We trust that the Lord knows what’s best for each of us and you’ll get your best answer when we point you to prayer, not necessarily what we feel God’s directing us in. I want to talk about all the things in life and bring them around to prayer so we see how it penetrates every part of our life! And maybe even remind us of what we are missing out on if it’s not penetrating every part of our life. 

I’m not here to tell you what’s right for you. But I am here to say, you’ve got to decide. And we don’t want to sleep through the harvest because we were so busy on things that we thought were the harvest just because we didn’t bother asking God about it. 

Are we good at things that don't matter?by Valerie Woerner, rest, laziness, prayer tips, busy schedule, discerning importance, God's timingSo here’s my challenge to you: Pick up your calendar (or phone) and hold it out to God and surrender it to Him. If surrender feels hard, grab our 30-Minute Prayer Method. We cover surrender in a way that helps ready our hearts to obey where God leads. 

Specific questions to ask in prayer:

– What is important to you God?
– Can you make it important to me too?
– What is not important to you God that’s on my schedule?
– Can you make it not important to me too?
– Where do I feel pressure?
– Can you give me a boldness to say no if I need to?
– What am I missing that’s important but I think it’s not?
– Can you give me a boldness to say yes? 

October, we’ll be diving more into this topic of margin and white spaces so make sure you’re signed up for our emails.

For today, I hope you’ll simply commit to praying over the things that fill your schedules and remember this: there is a difference between God-given rest and laziness. And if we’re not able to discern what the harvest is, we’ll use up all our energy on things that don’t matter and let laziness creep in when the harvest does actually come.

And as depressing as that sounds, it doesn’t have to be our story. Let’s keep going to God in prayer and living a life that flows from our time spent with Him. I promise it’s better than anything the world wants to busy us with.

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Comments (2)

so sweetly written. you and yours are prayed for, Tyler as a pastor, the girls in their christian school and your new staff members
your writing remains my favorite of many authors, teachers, preachers
Holy Spirit led
authentic
as a wife of 47 years, a major move to be closer to grandbabes and 2 daughter in laws that I pray will want to read your heart, glorifying the Lord and his word throughout. thank you.