In the forty days of Lent the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd has suggested forty things to give up for Lent. For number ten the author suggests giving up Overcommitment. To quote the author, “Do less better and accomplish more.”
Many of us, certainly I need help with this one. Slowing down and not having a long “to do” list is just plain hard for me. When my children were small and growing up, I was juggling being a full time pastor, mom and wife. Plus there were all the other church and community demands. Days off were few and far between. I tried so hard to be all things to all people. I was multi-tasking, juggling commitments and just trying to keep my head above the water. This was before the 24/7 of the internet and cell phones.
I had not work life balance. Almost everything was work, work, work. I found myself with an office that was more homey than my home. The time came when I realized my children were growing up and I was missing it.
Now even with my mindfulness, I still have issues with overcommitment. Our culture and certainly the church often values what we do by how busy we are. Balance isn’t necessarily considered a value. Yet, we can not do what we do well, when we are so overcommitted we can not get things done. It is truly better to do less better.
How do we do that? By saying no, more than we say yes. Know who and what we are saying yes to in our lives. God, family, self care. When those things are our priority, everything else falls into place. Lent of all seasons make this a little bit more dicey. Yet, the challenge to give up overcommitment is ours today. So, I will continue to check my calendar and commit to less, that I might live faithfully in all that I do. I am truly, graced to serve.