The following blog post was first published on the Hope Community Church website as part of the Marketplace Matters Ministry. I’m honored to serve along side other Christ-followers who find purpose in their work. If you live in Raleigh-Durham, I encourage you to visit us and attend one of our monthly networking and leadership events.
It happens every year. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, all I want is some rest. Managing expectations at home and work can be an everyday challenge and by the end of the year you can be both physically and mentally exhausted. Have you ever felt that way? You most likely have but if you are not sure, ask the people closest to you. Your spouse can normally tell.
A few years ago I read a wonderful book titled Ordering Your Private World
by Gordon McDonald. He shares how his life changed after the day he “hit the wall.” That reference was filled by details of a drained life, pulled in so many directions that he felt helpless in the midst of all his responsibilities at home and work. Throughout the book he provides memos to his readers as reminders of how we should live our lives “organized.” None spoke as much to me as this one:
“If my private world is in order, it will be because I am convinced that the inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity.”
This message opened my eyes as it provided perspective. While an organized life needs discipline, it must first have priorities. This is an inside-out approach. The bible makes it clear in Matthew 6:31-33:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying. ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Still, the world around us tells us a different story. One where we must seek our own glory. One where the busier we are the more important we should feel. This has been the biggest lie told throughout corporate America. And the worse part about it is that our families suffer the most – spouses having dinners alone and children wondering when daddy/mommy will be home. I know this because I too have made these mistakes. Prioritizing is not just an option for balancing life, it is a responsibility. But there is hope.
We must reassess the meaning of our lives through eternal lenses. When we do that priorities become clearer and we can find balance between home and work. It’s a paradigm shift but one we need to make if we are to have an intentional impact in both places. Paul reminds us of this mentality in Romans 12:1-2:
“Therefore, I urge, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Remember these truths as you embrace a Thanksgiving through eternal lenses.