The way out of overcommitment runs through God’s temple.
I often begin writing a new song—or even something as ordinary as a letter to a friend—because I have seen a spark, a shimmer of God’s renewal in the world. But sometimes I have to weather a few false starts. Some seeds we plant seem to sprout overnight, while others take time.
Much of life is like this. Recently, we had plans to take the family to a local concert. I was hoping the tickets might present an opportunity for family bonding or even a new tradition. But I had just returned from travel, and my idealized imaginings of a happy annual outing fizzled as we were all pulled in different directions: One family member needed dinner; another was not feeling well; one had a homework backlog; another had a last-minute school event.
We were about halfway to the venue, driving in the rain, when we gave up on the concert. I felt a mix of relief and disappointment as we turned toward home. When logistical tornados like this one swirl, my resolve goes soft and my commitment falters. Should we push through and stick to the plan? Or should we hang back to accommodate the needs of the moment?
When our plans become too much and our days too full, it’s easy to get stuck. We’re overextended, and we stumble into indecision like it’s quicksand. The harder we try to climb out, the more we sink down. We try to discern what plans to make or which priorities to keep by reducing them to something like a math equation. We ration out resources to our competing desires.
It’s a logical approach. So why is it so hard sometimes to figure out what the one thing is that really matters?
Maybe because—as happens often in such moments—none of the options we’re choosing from is the one that really …