If my purpose and the reason for being “present” is my people then I need to edit, prune and decide. Even Jesus didn’t do everything, because He wasn’t supposed to. If He had to prioritize, know His purpose and calling, and therefore make edits then it makes complete sense that I will too.
I was really moved and inspired by the book Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington, and you can read my review here. Many of my thoughts on this particular topic stem from my experience with the book. If this post speaks directly to you today I hope you’ll consider grabbing a copy.
So here’s the deal. I needed to edit, I still need to be editing. There really are two kinds of edits in our lives. Natural edits that just happen and proactive edits that we choose to implement. Before we proactively begin editing our lives we need to listen to the Lord’s voice, closely. I also believe I had to be honest with myself in my desires, limitations, and being true to my purpose and calling.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
I have found that the primary reason this idea of “present” is so important is because of what it means in relationships. The people are what make it matter. And if that is the case “my people” just can’t be everyone. The Lord has a design for me, and a purpose. And there are people I can reach and impact and there are those that I can’t.
I am called according to His purpose and I only answer to Him. Guys this is good news. Great news in fact! When it comes time to edit it really is critical that I only care about His approval and what He thinks about me. This is hard. But when it comes to be honest with myself and owning His calling on my life – and the extent of that calling – this is really important.
If I am concerned with approval and pleasing others I will get busy, get distracted, and end up off course. If I get consumed with “everyone” or all those who I think need me I will get prideful, and end up a crazed and jumbled mess that is not present for my people. Now let me interject this. Right here and right now. “My people” is not meant as an exclusive or elite statement. I’m not into “us” and “them” or “insiders” and “outsiders.” When I use that term I’m am referencing the people in my life that I have a responsibility to. We do have these and we need to do these relationships justice. These are why I’m writing for 31 days about being present. They are it. Being present is doing my calling, to them, justice.
Here is what I have come to.
I can influence many.
I can impact some.
I can inspire only a few.
I will unpack that a bit too. Those terms by definition mean that I could be a compelling force for many, I can have a large (potentially lasting) affect for some, and that I can only really be an agent of change (produce positive change) in a few. I will also say that I can do NONE of this myself, it really is the Lord working through me.
But, if this is the case then I want my few to be my children and my husband. I want to do a few very well.
I want my some to be an inner circle of family members and friends who want to be there.
And by all means my prayer is that the many I reference will be impacted for Him, and I will do my best here too.
But if I can only have a few – I want to proactively edit and be intentional. I do not want to leave this to chance, or to my imperfect tendencies. Here’s the thing natural edits just happen. There are seasonal changes, changes in relationships, time brings change and by golly we just change ourselves. These things are natural. Proactive edits are different, they are harder and just as necessary. The require work and are sometimes an extension of a natural edit.
As you edit you become more intentional, your focus is clearer. As you edit you become healthier – like a vine that is pruned. To bear fruit you must prune, cut away. When you do the work of pruning you strengthen what remains.
Here are a few practical tips from Breaking Busy about how to make proactive edits.
– It is important to be proactive not reactive – in advance.
– You must do the work to discover what needs editing.
– Examine your life and look for areas that are not fruitful – this may reveal a need for an edit.
“What you say no to may determine what you say yes to.” “Sometimes our calling requires us to pass up lots of great opportunities because no matter how great it is, if it’s not what we are supposed to be doing, it won’t produce fruit.”
– Look at where God might be calling you – and to whom he is calling you.
– Examine what might be hindering you.
I want my life to produce fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I am determined to cultivate these and rely on the Holy Spirit so that I can look at the few, the some, and the many and know that I gave it my best shot.
I am willing to say not to so much in order to say yes to His calling on my life.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
“God’s no always prepares us for His perfect yes.” – Alli Worthington