“Why don’t you just go to bed?”
My husband was being kind, but I bristled. My little sister had just come into town–she hadn’t been to my home in many years, and I wanted to talk to her. She arrived late, and it had been a long day of work and supporting our favorite soccer players. I’d been up since 5 a.m. so my eyes were drooping.
But I didn’t want to miss the conversation.
The response in my head was, “You’re not my parent.” Sounding rather juvenile, I bit my lip and stayed on the couch. Listening. Or at least pretending to do so.
“Just go to bed. You’ve been up forever.”
His voice jarred me awake. I’d fallen asleep, which frustrated me even more.
“What did I miss?”
My sister, who has as much a fear of missing out as I do, just laughed.
It’s frustrating to be stopped in my tracks when I want to engage in an activity or conversation and my own weakness keeps me from following through.
My enthusiasm to try the new and different or to even just keep on going with what I’m enjoying rarely recognizes my human limitations. If it seems good and desirable, why not?
I have limits.
That seems so obvious. We see it in others, recognizing efforts that won’t accomplish what’s hoped for because of a lack of skills or capacity. I don’t shine that light on my own restrictions. Too often I see myself as more capable than I am.
It’s easy to see children overextending themselves, wanting to do whatever they see everyone else doing. Our youngest daughter always believed she could easily do what her five older siblings could do. Being limited by height as to what carnival rides she could go on was a constant irritant. Having to wait to get a driver’s license produced further exasperation.
Legitimate boundaries are never easy. They remind us of our finiteness, our limitations.
A lack of boundaries and poor perception of my capacity lead me to try to do it all. Not wanting to miss out on anything.
When Jesus walked the earth, His reputation spread rapidly as He healed people of all kinds of sickness and fed crowds. He could have been kept busy 24/7 dealing with all the needs before Him. But He knew what needed to be done, and His goal wasn’t to fix everyone. He came to show God to us and to die for us so we could know the Father.
“Yet the news about Jesus spread all the more so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” Luke 5:15-16
Jesus wasn’t frantic to fix the world. He came purposefully, to give His life for our brokenness. And to help Him focus on the task at hand, He needed to pray to His Father. To find comfort and strength in the One who loved Him.
Living frantic lives, trying to do it all, can lead to frustration and burnout.
Pausing in the midst of the chaos of life to talk to God can bring a sense of wholeness that frenzied living can’t satisfy.
There’s no missing out with Jesus.
He really is all we need.