Years ago I ran across a poignant cartoon by artist Cathy Guisewite. In the first panel, a woman held up a sparkly ring. The caption read, TO DO: 1955. There was only one thing on the woman’s list: “Marry well.” In the second panel, her hand had become a fist. The caption read: TO DO: 1975. Still only one thing, but this time: “Transform the role of women in society!”
Then there was TO DO: 1995. The list ran off the page! Everything from earning a living (in a rewarding career) to marrying and raising a family, to taking care of laundry and groceries and bills and cars and pets, to fighting fat, toning muscles, rebelling against aging, and – finally – saving the planet!
In the last panel, the woman had collapsed on a sofa, totally exhausted, surrounded by piles and piles of work still to do. She’d replaced the cry of the women’s lib movement – “I am woman, hear me roar!” – with “I am woman, hear me snore!”
I know I can relate. Can’t you?
There are just not enough hours in the day for all the routine responsibilities of life – let alone our spiritual disciplines, our giving and serving and volunteering. Not to mention our hopes and dreams and plans for the New Year.
For some reason we’re absolutely convinced we really could and should be able to do it all. We tackle our to-do list with brave and determined faces. But underneath we’re stressed. We’re anxious. We’re worried.
What if we really can’t do it all? What if we drop the ball? What if we forget something? What if the time or energy or effort we have to give just isn’t good enough? What if we fail — fail ourselves, our families, our friends. Our church. Our workplace. What if we fail God? What if we disappoint Him and let Him down? Again.
Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
He said He would give us rest. He said His yoke was easy and His burden light… meaning the weight of it all would fall on His shoulders, not ours.
He promised us freedom – not slavery to sin. And not slavery to a big long list of impossible standards and unrealistic expectations.
If we listen, we will hear Him reminding us that we need only to do the things HE has given us to do. Not the things we think we should do. Not the things the world tells us we should do, the things our culture or society tells us to do. Not the things people in our industry tell us we should do – or the people in our church or our neighborhood or our community. Not even the things our friends and family think we should do. Expect that we do. Demand that we do.
Just what Jesus has asked of us. No more and no less.
He knows exactly what we’re capable of – what He can and will do, in us and through us. He is patient with us. One thing at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time. Even one hour or one moment at a time. Because He loves us.
He promises to give us all the courage, all the strength, all the wisdom we need, all the direction and guidance we seek. We just have to ask Him! (James 1:5)
Christin Ditchfield is a popular conference speaker, internationally syndicated radio host, and author of more than 66 books, including What Women Should Know About Letting It Go: Breaking Free From Guilt, Discouragement, and Defeat. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, or her blog, www.ChristinDitchfield.com.
Latest posts by Christin Ditchfield (see all)
- Learning to Bend - November 15, 2016
- Could This (Finally) Be Our Year? ~ Christin Ditchfield - January 5, 2016
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