“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” (Zig Ziglar)
That quote got me thinking. If you are anything like me, you will often feel overwhelmed with all that piles up in a day and is screaming for our attention. We fall into bed exhausted, hoping that maybe tomorrow we will be able to catch up with the ever-growing to-do list.
Then I thought of Jesus. He was never rushing, never overwhelmed, never distracted by anything. How did He do that? Jesus understood the reason and purpose for His life here. He knew he only had a few short years to accomplish it all, and that kept Him focused. He repeatedly stated that He only did what His Father wanted Him to do, and that He didn’t do anything of Himself. Did you catch that? He ONLY DID what His Father wanted Him to do. No extra junk, no added burdens, no self-imposed to-do list. Reputation didn’t matter to Him, neither did other people’s expectations of Him. Keeping up with the Jones’s, or living up to the accepted social standard – not an issue!
If we look at our lives and the things that rob us of our time, energy, and joy, they are often the things that we feel pressured to do, often subconsciously, simply because “everyone else is doing it”, “that’s the world we live in”, or “that’s what others expect of me”. We take on burdens we were never meant to carry. Jesus is offering us freedom and rest today: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29). What is His burden, and what is His yoke? If you have ever seen a yoke for a team of oxen, you know that two animals are meant to carry it. They must work together, going in the same direction, pulling at the same speed or else things might get ugly. Jesus is waiting for us to stop putting on our own yokes, walking around in circles, pulling things we are not meant to pull, and He is offering us His light yoke that He wants to pull with us. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me, especially since He does all the heavy lifting and pulling. Which direction will that take us?
First off, our vision will align with His. We will finally see clearly the things that really matter to Him. Here is Christ’s own mission statement, which He announced in Luke chapter 4 at the beginning of His ministry on earth:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
This is the direction Jesus is pulling in, and if we want to be His disciple, we will by default go with Him. We will live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission because that’s what Christ did. We will care for the vulnerable, outcast, orphan, and widow, because He cares. We will share the good news of Jesus with others because He is the only Saviour of humanity. Our lives will revolve around Him and His plan.
At the end of your life, Jesus will not reward you for having the cleanest house, children who know how to play tennis and piano, wearing the latest style of clothes and hair, or even your being busy in religious activities. He will not care whether you mastered the latest steak recipe on Pinterest, or even whether people liked you on facebook. So, take a deep breath, and then look at your time and your direction. Let Jesus set the direction for your life!