Saying “no” to make room

Saying “no” to make room

My husband recently quit a volunteer team at church. He’d been helping out in the parking lot for a few years and enjoyed it — even when it was 40 degrees, or raining, or 40 degrees and raining. He even got to be in charge of the team for his service time.

Eventually, though, the task became less fulfilling. He plateaued in his leadership, not really growing like he had been. When I saw that he was just filling the role, I noticed that he was taking a leadership spot that someone else could really benefit from. It was time to step aside and let someone else have the opportunity to lead a team and be fulfilled by it. So he did.

It would have been pretty easy to keep cruising along. Nothing was really wrong, after all. But he knew that he had to make room for something else. If a great opportunity were to come along, he was already maxed out in his schedule and would have to decline.

Sure enough, a friend asked us if we would be willing to do premarital mentoring, a six-week process. We had been wanting to get involved but never had the availability we needed. Since the parking team was no longer taking up a big chunk of our Sundays, we were free to say yes to premarital mentoring. It ended up being a fun and fulfilling experience. If we had just tacked it onto our calendar without removing something else, it probably would have stressed us out. We need to stop letting commitments pile up — just adding and adding and adding until we get completely fried.

“Jesus said [to the disciples], ‘Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.’ For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6).

They were hustling and hadn’t had a chance to catch their breath. What was Jesus’s advice? Rest. It takes elbow room to be able to give a wholehearted “yes.” Have the courage to rest.

Do you need to take a break and get a little rest? What do you need to say “no” to today?

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