What’s wrong with doing your best? I am a competitive person. I played sports through high school, college, and beyond. In classes I worked hard to get the highest grades. At work I did the extra research to have the most creative ideas. I am always trying to be the best I can be. I thought that is what I am supposed to do in every area of my life. Even if that meant burning the candle at both ends.
One of the devotionals I am studying this year is Priscilla Shirer’s The Resolution for Women. She has a section on My Best. She writes, “If you do your best, for example, but you expend much of it on the wrong things, you’ve not only wasted a lot of your energy and resources; you’ve also lost time and opportunities you may never recover…. Being your best at what God wants you to be doing—that’s the thing to shoot for.”
It’s all about priorities. I tend to spend more time doing the things that I like to do, proving myself to be smart, creative, funny, a good cook, or whatever. I expend my energy on being the best at what makes me feel good and then there is no energy left for what is important in God’s eyes (like praying for loved ones or reading His Word). It is not rare for me to spend a couple of hours making a meal that gets rave reviews. I love to see my boys’ eyes roll back in their heads when they dive into my concoctions at dinnertime. In and of itself, that is not a bad thing. But what if by taking the time to make that meal I use the time and energy I could have used for another activity, a God-directed activity? Is it a matter of my pride overruling God’s priorities?
What Mrs. Shirer points out is that we should prayerfully consider what our priorities are. What is important at one time in life can be given much less attention and focus at another time in life. Balance is not about keeping all the plates spinning, but about prioritizing which plates God wants us to spin and which ones we can put back in the cupboard. It is okay to throw something in the microwave for dinner once in a while so that I can be my best for my lifegroup, pray my hardest for a friend, or spend quality, focused time with my hubby.
So I’ll work on that. But when the time comes for a quick dinner, I will still do my best to have the greatest microwave meal that has ever come out of the contraption since its invention.
Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.
Colossians 4:17 NLT