Avoiding Overcommitment

Welcome! It’s snowing as I write. Watching snow fall is so peaceful. Have you ever stood outside and listened while it’s snowing? It’s absolutely silent. One of my favorite things about the Atlantic community is how peaceful and quiet it is. As a child and teen I’d sometimes gaze out the window at the black night sky. I loved that I never saw the orange glow of streetlights.

Isaiah 32:18 reads, “My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest.” (NLT) That’s how I feel about the Atlantic community. It’s a quiet place of rest.

I want to have a life of quiet rest. I don’t mean that I want to be idle. But I have to work a little harder than some people to maintain my equilibrium. Let me explain.

My mental health really suffers in winter. Don’t get me wrong -- I like snow. It’s pretty and it reflects whatever weak sunlight we get. But I battle depression more in winter than any other season. Surely the longer nights are part of this, but I think there’s more to it. I think it has to do with all the stuff crammed into the weeks between Thanksgiving and Easter.

Overscheduling is a big issue with me. If I have too much planned for one day I’ll get irritable and depressed. And I usually confuse my priorities when I’m overscheduled. It’s hard to defend my writing time, for one thing. I feel pulled to do housework or run errands. It seems convenient to schedule an oil change or doctor’s appointment during the day. I’m home, after all.

But that’s beside the point. I’m supposed to spend time writing every day. That’s what God has laid on my heart. If I put too much energy into doing stuff that won’t matter a week from now and don’t put enough effort into a devotional or column that someone could print up and refer to over and over I’ve missed the point of my life.

Each of us is called to do certain work. God gives all Christians spiritual gifts. I’m called to write. God gave me the gift of encouragement. What is your calling and how does your spiritual gift factor in? Maybe you struggle with overcommitment or over-scheduling, too. Is there something you can cut out of your life to enable you to do more of the work God created you to do? Just something to think about.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!