“God is both our Director and our Audience,” suggests author Jean Fleming in her book, Beyond Walden and the Whirlwind. So where, I wonder, is the balance between retreating from the world and being caught up in a whirlwind of activities? How much stress is okay and how much stress is too much?
Handling a certain amount of load in our lives is a good thing. The problem arises, however, when there is an overload situation. A coffee cup was designed to hold a certain amount of coffee; more than that and the cup will overflow. Four tea cups stack nicely, but the addition of a fifth cup causes the entire stack to fall over. Each of us can carry a specific amount of weight, but we cannot safely carry five pounds more than that.
As homeschooling moms we are--now here’s a news flash for you!--finite. God has lovingly designed us with limits--physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. What are your limits in these four areas? Physical limits are relatively easy to discern and measure; but what about your emotional limits? I can carry one person perhaps physically, but how many people can I carry emotionally? How many hundreds of questions can I answer in a day and how many decisions can I make before my life starts to topple over?
Take a good look at this page. Do the words all run from edge to edge of the paper? Is the writing solid from the top of the page to the bottom? Could you read it like that? Every page of type has something called margin--white space with nothing in it that causes the important words to be easily read.
What does a page from your life look like? Is it marginless? Or is there breathing space around your days?
We are not infinite; each day has no more than twenty-four hours in it; our energy supply is not inexhaustible; we cannot keep running on empty. Our limits are real and are not the enemy. Overloading is the enemy. Our limits are also uniquely individual. We cannot and should not exceed these personal limits due to the expectations of other people.
Consider Jesus. He did not meet every need before Him, He did not heal every sick person, or minister to all those in Palestine. He did not have an alarm clock, an answering machine, a cell phone, or e-mail. He quite simply did only those things which God the Father told Him to do. He only did those things which pleased His Heavenly Father.
We have only one Director whose job it is to tell us how to live our lives. And we only perform for an Audience of one--the Person we want to please the most with the way we live our lives.
What if, as an experiment, I scheduled only eighty percent of any given day (rather than one hundred percent or one hundred twenty percent)? Then there would be plenty of margin in my life to be available should God assign me certain tasks. There is time to cuddle with a little one, call a friend to encourage her, sip a cup of tea, fix a nice dinner for my family, rest in a lawn chair and take a deep breath, read something inspirational, spend some time in prayer, or just sit quietly with the dog resting on my lap.
Try leaving a margin in your day and in your week and in your school schedule. And remember how tenderly your Director is watching over you!
© 2000 Vicki Lewis