Many have approached this new year with ideas of things they would like to do differently this time through. It’s really nice to have a fresh start. We all need places and times to begin again.
However, I ask you to proceed with caution. It’s easy to give yourself goals that may be unrealistic or unobtainable. If you’re like me, your to-do list is massively long. I keep starting new lists of stuff I need to do. Then I tend to start newer lists that are more current or more urgent.
In First Corinthians 12, Paul reminds us that every person has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s all too easy to look at the person who gets more glory and say, “I need to be more like them.” Maybe you don’t! Maybe it’s better to look at the way God created you and figure out how to be better within the gifts that God has given you.
I played violin in middle school and a bit in high school and college. Twenty years later, I was given the opportunity to play again through the graces of a low-risk orchestra. I spent an hour with the violin and realized the amount of time and emotional energy it would have taken me to reach a level of satisfaction were more than I had to give. So I quit before I began again. Was I wrong? Maybe.
It’s definitely good to push ourselves beyond our limits, sometimes. We all know that if we stay too close to our comfort zones, we will never grow. But staying in that place of discomfort can cause burnout or even worse. Remember, “God has put each part just where he wants it.” If you don’t know, figure out where that place is. Live there. And grow there.
(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday.)