How do you get it all done? It’s simply not possible. While I don’t claim to be any form of an expert on productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness, I can easily say from my life that I simply can’t get it all done. Everything that I must do. Everything that I want to do. Everything that I find myself doing.
I find myself commonly going strong from about 5:30AM to about 11:00PM – and there’s still more to do almost every day. Every day I have a mental list of people I haven’t seen, tasks I haven’t completed, ideas I haven’t written down, things I want to do, phone calls I haven’t returned, and more. What’s more, I’m not alone. I suspect that you can find yourself running beside me with the same list of wants, wishes, and requirements.
The thing is, I know this is not the way that God has intended for us to live. For starters, he commanded that we take a day of rest. And every time we don’t, we are being disobedient.
Since it’s clear that we are not able, nor are we intended, to do everything, there must be some things will be left undone. We can either choose what is done and what is left undone or we can leave it up to outside factors.
Let’s be blunt: if we want to follow God, we must choose to follow. We must choose to do what he wants. And to do so means that we must choose not to do the things he does not choose for us. We have to learn to let some things go.
In this, I believe there are two categories:
- Decisions we can make in advance
- Decisions we must make in the moment
Some decisions can be based on knowledge that we already have. These may be long-running decisions that are walked out over time or decisions based on a predetermined matrix. As a practical example, if you get a job, you are choosing in advance to continue showing up to work whether you want to or not.
Other decisions are based on current circumstances and are made in the moment. Things like whether to give $5.00 to somebody in need might be an example of that. It is important to know, though, that our short-term decisions should line up with our long-term decisions.
There seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding in our culture about these two decision types. We seem, very often, to make decisions in the moment that alter our long-term decisions. While this can have validity – rules are made to serve us, not we to serve them – it is a dangerous thing to rethink our long-term goals every time we must make a short-term decision. Rather, it is wise to make our short-term decisions in light of our long-term goals.
Jesus made his decision-making process plain for us:
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
So…here are my questions:
- What do I see in the Father doing that I don’t see in me?
- What do I see in me that I don’t see in the Father?
How about you?