By: Cynthia Yanof
Here it comes. Can you feel it?
It’s the pre-Thanksgiving tidal wave. It’s been looming out there for a few weeks, but it came in like a wrecking ball (I apologize for that reference) when Target’s Black Friday ad showed up in my inbox a few days ago.
I had that moment of “Holy cow, I’ve got to get it together—and fast.”
I have gifts to buy, Christmas card pictures to schedule, trees to trim, parties to plan—all while pretending to be relishing Thanksgiving so I’m not that person everyone complains about who jumps the gun on Christmas.
And the fact that Thanksgiving is late this year, well, let’s not even discuss that.
What in the world am I doing?
If you’re easily drawn offside this time of year when it comes to the endless to-do list, I’m with you. I was driving yesterday, thinking of all I “had” to get done and it hit me: What’s the why behind all that I do?
Like, seriously, why do I do all the things I do on a given day?
Not to be too philosophical, but I think the why for me often comes from a sense of expectation I’ve put on myself that things have to look a certain way (darn you, Hallmark Channel).
Or maybe it’s because everyone else is doing it so I have allowed the craziness to become my new normal. But, mostly, I think it’s simply because I’ve always done it this way and I’m “too busy” to stop and ask why.
What in the world are you doing?
Have you ever stopped to consider the why in your life?
Not just this time of year, but in general: Why do we spend our days doing the things we do?
First, let’s agree that our goal is to live out the bigger purposes God has for our lives (that’s the only thing that brings contentment).
Second, let’s agree that time is our most valuable asset when it comes to accomplishing bigger kingdom work.
Third, let’s agree that Candace Cameron Bure is Christmas TV greatness, shocking us with the “I never saw it coming” Christmas twists while also loving Jesus—which basically makes her a triple threat.
Jesus is the ultimate example of living with purpose. Scripture tells us that Jesus’ days were spent glorifying God by accomplishing his earthly purposes (John 17:14), testifying to truth (John 18:37), preaching (Mark 1:38), saving sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), serving (Mark 10:45), and showing love to others (John 13:34).
Jesus lacked no clarity as to his purpose when he walked this earth. He filled his earthly days with only those things that best accomplished his heavenly purpose.
What in the world are your kids doing?
Take a few minutes to consider your why through a biblical lens.
I’ve listed a few verses at the end of the blog that I hope shed a little light. I challenge you to pray about the things that will fill your days in the coming weeks and ask the Lord to point you to places where you need to let some things go.
It might also be a great time to talk to your kids about the why behind some of their decisions, not from a place of judgment, but just as an opportunity to have them stop and think about their why and the importance of using time wisely.
Why are they going to that party? Why did they invite that particular friend over? Why do their grades bring them so much stress? Why do they want to go to that college?Why do they want to be in that group?Why do they want (fill in the blank) for Christmas?Why do they spend so much time on that activity?
What in the world does God want you to do?
If I might cut to the chase: let’s start allowing the why to inform the what in our lives.
Let’s look at God’s word and prayerfully consider if the things that keep us busy are also moving us forward on God’s mission for our lives.
Yes, we’re going to have lots of fun and love our families well, but we also must be willing to drop some things these next few weeks that don’t have the right why behind the what in our lives.
And don’t you worry: I’m sure there is a purposeful why behind the amount of time I plan to spend at Hobby Lobby in the coming days, lingering around the Christmas décor. Surely I can find Scripture to support that? Kidding!
Praying for purpose
Pray through these verses with me during the next few weeks:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16).“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).Also, read Ephesians 5:1–22.