I think we’ve all had the feeling at some point that our life is out of control; that too many things are pushing us in too many different directions. It’s easy for someone else to advise a deep breath, scale back, and choose your battles. Not so easy to do it yourself.
Actually, that’s why it not so easy—we want to do it ourselves. And there are times that the problem isn’t really with the issues in our life, but in our attitude about them.
What is the most important thing in your life?
The other day a friend was listening to an online financial advisor, who said that in order to build wealth, every choice you make should take you closer to this goal. Often it’s not the immediate financial advantage; every time you can, do a favor or pick up a check in order to build a relationship that will build your wealth in the future. (The friend and I looked at each other in horror, and began thinking of other reasons for our choices.) Also, an account acquaintance got on me for taking time for small sales and/or complex questions. She went on to say, “I know you like helping people; I have people ask me all the time to do things for them, but if I’m not going to make money out of it, I don’t do it.” Is money the most important thing?
Recently I happened recently to hear a pop song from a few years back that expressed an overwhelming love for a significant other. First thought: how sweet! Second thought: that’s expecting way too much of another human being. Yes, it is good to love. What can happen, though, is expecting a person to fulfill all of your dreams and needs, and making you the most important thing in life, a weight none of us are up to. Is a human relationship the most important thing?
There are many other things that fill up our lives; but being obsessed with wealth or a lover, work, or anything else that doesn’t leave any space for God is not going to work. What usually happens is that the object of the obsession never fills your needs; you keep looking for more and more in the same place that is already not enough. What is the most important thing?
“Burnout” is often the result not of doing too many things, but of putting too much weight on the wrong things. A psalmist said it well: Everything's falling apart on me, God; put me together again with Your Word. (Psalm 119:107 The Message)