Are you carrying a heavy load?
Does your heavy load mean a full calendar, non-stop activity, and no margin?
Perhaps it’s time to consider the seashells.
Have you ever walked on a beach, picking up seashells as you go, discerning the most beautiful among them to add to your collection?
The larger ones stand out as you approach, begging further investigation. The unusual ones beckon. The little ones are so numerous. They may be smooth, they may be colorful, they may be a little broken. No doubt each shell is unique.
You keep your favorites. How many are there – hundreds, thousands, millions – that you don’t pick up, that don’t make it into your pocket?
We consider each one.
What if we considered our opportunities as intentionally as we consider each seashell?
What if we filled our calendar the same way we fill our pocket – thoughtfully, one item a time, focusing only on the ones that fit us best? Instead of just saying “yes” to something that comes along on the spur of the moment.
And what if we were willing to hold one opportunity for a bit, like we do a unique shell, and then put it back down if it weren’t exactly the right one for us?
With shell collecting, we’re not looking for perfection. But we do look for progress, measuring one shell against another. Looking for what fits us. Is that what we’re looking for in our calendars, in our lives, too?
So what would perfection in shell collecting look like? It would lead us directly to the beachwear store, where in addition to a perfect $10 conch shell we also could also pick up taffy and a $5 T-shirt.
What does perfection in our schedules look like? Maybe it’s what leads us to fill our days, to create our heavy load, as we don’t want to say no to any opportunity that comes our way. Maybe it’s what leads us to ignore our need for rest, for a Sabbath, as we work day in and day out.
We want the shells that we take home from the seashore to fit us, to feel right. We can’t pick up and take home every shell. Our pockets would bulge. Our bucket would be too heavy to carry.
Is your bucket heavy?
Have you taken on every opportunity that’s come your way, feeling as if you must carry every one of them?
Each day, we are surrounded by dozens, maybe hundreds, of options for how to spend our time and resources. We can get swept away by all of these choices, carried along by our fascinations, adding commitments, so that it’s difficult to shut out the noise and focus on the important.
Today, as you think of your commitments and perhaps are approached to take on others, remember the seashells. Which ones are essential? Which fit you best? Which ones do you really want to carry?
Is it time for some of them to be left on the sand?
It is time to drop that heavy load?
How do you filter out the noise and choose what commitments to accept and carry? What tips do you have to focus on what’s essential in your life, and then do that? Comment below, or join our free Faith and Sweat community on Facebook, where we continue the conversation.
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