the weblog of Alan Knox

When I can’t keep up

Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 in blog links | 5 comments

When I can’t keep up

Good blogs (like good books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) have good content. But, good blogs do something else: they start conversations.

Recently, I read a post by Jeremy at “Till He Comes” called “My Blog Conversations with God.” I understand (and empathize) with Jeremy’s frustration when comparing himself to other bloggers.

For example, at one point he writes:

I get depressed at all the books other bloggers are writing, the conferences they are attending and speaking at, the interviews they are doing, and the opportunities they are getting. It’s most depressing when I read a blog by someone who is doing what I have always dreamt of doing, and they are ten years younger than me.

Jeremy then writes a “conversation” that he has with God in which God helps him move away from his frustrations and discouragement.

Now, like I said, I’ve had the same frustrations and discouragements concerning blogging, but that’s not what I want to write about. Instead, Jeremy’s post reminded me of another frustration that I’ve been dealing with lately.

As I related in a recent post called “Well, we did pray for that, didn’t we?” a few months ago I and some brothers began praying for opportunities to proclaim the good news and serve others. In that post, I recalled a few (and only a fraction) of the many opportunities that God has given us.

And, guess what? At times, it seems that God has given me more opportunities than I can handle. I don’t seem to have time to keep up. What to do?

When it seems that God has given me too many opportunities to handle, it’s time to think seriously about what I’m doing with my time. Am I wasting time? Am I doing things that others should be doing? Am I committing to things that I shouldn’t commit to? Am I including other people or connecting people?

You see, one of the things that I need to be doing is connecting people with needs to other people who can meet those needs. Then, I can’t make it my responsibility to do the work that someone else needs to be doing.

In other words, God never gives me too much. He never gives me more than I can handle when I’m empowered by him. Oh, I can’t serve him and serve others in my own strength, although I try to do this at times. But, when I’m strengthened by him, I can always do more than I think I can do.

When I can’t keep up, it means that something is wrong. More than likely, that something is me, my priorities, and my plans. I need to be willing to change all of those.


5 Comments

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  1. 3-24-2011

    Alan,

    Your situation helps put my life in perspective. Since the downturn in aviation in ’08-’09 my life has gotten real busy. We went from ’09 holding weekly gatherings in our home to ’10 not able to do it consistently and by the end of ’10 I was no longer able to host our house gatherings. I work almost every weekend. Planning anything is next to impossible.

    Committing to something on a consistent basis is not possible. All of that led to a lot of frustration last year. So it’s either quit my job (which is not feasible) or just lay it down and trust the Lord to manage my schedule.

    I confess, I didn’t believe the Lord was capable of managing my schedule, because it seemed I missed a lot of things I wanted to do. However, as I have laid the frustration and my lack of trust down, I have seen a peace and it seems I am where He wants me to be when I need to be there.

    In all things it makes us more dependent on Him. I see the Lords hand in my life. I don’t always understand it, but doors open that need to be opened and it seems I am along for the ride. :)

  2. 3-24-2011

    Alan,

    God may not require more of us than we can handle, but he certainly offers us more, far more. Gluttony is not just a temptation down at the Golden Corral buffet, it faces us when we look around at all the things that we could be doing to build the kingdom. Just because God sets our table abundantly does not mean we need to eat it all—better to take sensible portions, and then concentrate on cleaning our plate.

    One of my favorite anecdotes comes from an Episcopal priest who in his early 20s was faced with two very good, very important opportunities to serve, one with a local parish and one at a mission in Mexico. He had long worked with both communities, and loved them both. He saw wonderful potential in both, and key contributions he could make in both places. He agonized for months over the choice.

    One day he was walking down a path, crying out to God for guidance and clarity in making the right decision: here or Mexico? Suddenly he heard God’s voice, clear as a bell, saying, “Homer, I don’t care!” He laughed, decided to lighten up, chose Mexico just because it was more exotic and likely to be fun, and then went on with his very productive life.

  3. 3-24-2011

    Jack,

    Yes, God always seems to have us in the right place at the right time.

    Rick,

    That’s a great story. Thanks!

    -Alan

  4. 3-24-2011

    Great…another blog post that makes me feel frustrated.

    Just kidding, just kidding… Ha ha.

    I have more in my life than I can handle right now too, but most of it is not stuff I prayed for. Instead, I’m praying for God to take it away… or for me to learn whatever it is I need to learn so that I can move on.

  5. 3-24-2011

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for your great post and for inspiring this post.

    -Alan