"A life with no regrets" Isn't this a universal aspiration?
Life always looks different in hindsight and we cannot always anticipate what will cause regret, but have you ever been in the smack dab middle of making a decision and just gotten a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach?
The feeling usually comes for me when I need to say "no" to something someone desperately wants me to say "yes" to.
We talked about this concept last week in the Slow post. One way to create a slow and durable life is to be strategic in our "yeses."
But that's not all that is involved in a durable life. A durable life is one in which we set the pace. A life not spinning out of control with commitments or responsibilities, but one in which we allow the Lord to lead, a life with margin, a life with plenty of room for people that are hurting and situations that break our hearts provoking us to action.
It's also living "ok" with whatever God has for us in this particular season of life, drawing strength from knowing "the joy of the Lord" meaning His approval in our daily activities and life satisfies.
The awesome part about a durable life is that God has crafted it uniquely for each of us. He knows the activities and responsibilities he wants just for you in your life right now and it looks completely different from your best friend, your neighbor, or mine.
He has uniquely crafted our lives, with our family, circle of friends, people we work with, people who need us, our giftings, our passions, all to help glorify Him. But, this can only happen if we choose to live the durable life-the life where we are spiritually, emotionally, and physically present with the people right here and now in our lives.
The best way I know how practically to do this is to "keep an open line of communication with God." What I mean is
So, today, I pose 5 questions regarding a Durable life. 5 questions we can come back to when life starts to feel a bit out of control:
1) Make a list of all responsibilities, whether obligatory or chosen, then go through them one by one and ask:
Is this particular activity or responsibility sustainable?
2) Am I lashing out at my family because I'm
overloaded or tired?
3) Am I putting pressure on myself to take on _____ because I am finding my identity in it instead of the Lord?
It's way more about the "why" of what you do than the "what." Karin Conlee says "When our identity is no longer attached to our performance, our past, or our interactions with others,
4) Is there time in my life to spend "quiet time" with the Lord? If no, is there something I can cut out for now to make time for this important time with the Lord?
5) Would my family/and or close friends say I am able to give them the time and energy they need for me to give?
Jesus, please help us embrace the durable life. Jesus, only by your grace can we live prioritizing time with you. Give us a hunger for you and spending time with you that nothing else satisfies. Help us discern when to say "yes" and when to say "no" to all of the demands in our daily lives. And Jesus, help us to see people through your lens of love, acting on our love, not just talking about it. Thank you for your endless patience with us Jesus. You are kind and good to us in ways we never deserve but we are ever so grateful.
Join me next week for the last post in the series "Unforced Rhythms of Grace."