Hello friends! Because I am always trying to pawn off my responsibilities on those around me, my friend Isaac offered to write a post this week! So bonus: testosterone! Enjoy!
Why is it so difficult for me to force my body out of my bed some mornings?
I stare at the clock and think about all the things I should be doing. The weight of my duties and responsibilities flattens me like a pancake on the griddle that is my bed. There’s just too much to do, so I’ll do what I do best: avoid them.
Or sometimes, I just don’t feel like moving at all. I’d rather just not participate in the grand orchestra of life. Let the symphony play without me. My part is too insignificant anyway; no one will notice if I’m missing, so why bother?
Or perhaps I feel like I can’t do anything. No matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to succeed. The obstacles in my way are too formidable, too insurmountable. I can’t see what lies ahead because they block my view, so I mope in bed and lose hope.
Every once in a while, these are the feelings that dominate my thoughts when I wake up. Though I do suffer from depression from time to time, I think there are other specific causes that can more directly explain my negative emotions. In fact, I think a line from a MuteMath song sums it up perfectly:
“Why can’t you do a little more for Jesus?”
This lyric comes from the song “Blood Pressure” which talks about the constant pressure to do better, to BE better, whether it is for Jesus or for someone else in your life. This pressure to do better usually results in a desire to do more and more, and not always with pure intentions or desirable outcomes. I relate to this so much because I'm the one placing this pressure on myself to do more most of the time.
The problem with doing more out of pressure or guilt is that it starts to become a source of pride and self-worth, and that is exactly what our God is against. Not only does it start to become a point of possible temptation, but it also has the potential to create the feelings of crippling inadequacy and worthlessness. Sure, we feel good when we're able to accomplish a lot of tasks, but what happens once our energy runs out? What happens to our ego when little by little, our efforts start to sputter and even fail? Of course God has created us for good works, and generally speaking, doing more good works is better for everyone. But when we start basing our worth on what we have accomplished in this life, we start to lose. God values us because Jesus died for us and because he chose to give us worth. This is SO freeing. I can choose to say no to things and not overwork myself without feeling an immense amount of guilt.
I don’t have to be the best grad student in the world. I don’t have to eradicate poverty all by myself. I don’t have to change the world. Are these all good things, and should we strive for them? Yes, of course, but only as long as we are not sacrificing our own personal spiritual lives at the altar of these potential idols. It is okay to say no. And sometimes, doing a little less for Jesus is the most we can do for him.