This year, the coaching staff decided to share something encouraging and kind about everyone who works out at the gym on a regular basis. As I sat at the Christmas Gym party recently, I heard my coach say my name.
As I listened, Mel shared her thoughts of things she had noticed in the past five years that I had attended Cross Fit class.
She said some uplifting things about my demeanour, and then she proceeded to say, “and no matter what, Sylv comes three times a week. She knows what works for her and she doesn’t go beyond that. She told me when she started that she was not in this to compete, but rather to stay healthy.”
As I heard her say this, the first thing that came to my mind was I was a wimp. That I didn’t have enough courage to come more often to work on my physique and that I was “coping” out.
Women, and even men, do you ever find yourself feeling like you don’t do enough? Do you get caught in the trap of trying to please people and do it all? If not, fantastic! You can stop reading.
If you have felt this way, let me ask you something. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we put invisible pressures and expectations on ourselves? Have they ever truly helped you?
When my coach said these words about me, she was trying to give me a compliment. She was saying that I knew my own limit and what works in my life. I took it as an insult.
Let’s think about this for a second. As a believer, has God ever asked me to do everything and be everything to everyone? No! What has God asked of me?
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37 & 38
As someone who loves to help out and alway striving to be my best, I can get caught in the trap of saying yes to everything around me. But the fact of the matter is that being a believer in Christ is not about saying yes to every little thing, but rather knowing when to say yes. I have heard many stories of women doing things for the church and striving, and helping, and giving, until they were completely burnt out. Then, at the point of complete exhaustion, they couldn’t help anyone, even themselves for a long time.
This is not the way God intended our lives to be. We were not meant for burnout.
The story of Mary and Martha outlines this idea so well. To give you a quick recap, there were these sisters that had Jesus and His disciples over for some food and fellowship. Martha was in the kitchen, busily preparing the meal and cleaning. Where was Mary? At the feet of Jesus listening intently. When Martha saw this, she got mad. So mad she even said,“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40)
Have you ever felt like you volunteered to do something initially wanting to help, but then when it came time, you realized that you took on too much? And now you’re in hot water and when one thing goes wrong, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, you let everyone around you know? “Could you please help me?”(said in a bitter tone and clenched teeth) I know I have!
But what does Jesus say to Martha in this moment? Although Jesus says, “Martha, Martha”, why don’t you insert your own name and I’ll do the same.
“Sylvia, Sylvia,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41 & 42)
Jesus is not reprimanding Martha, or you, but rather reminding us to stop trying to be everything for everyone, and just rest in Him!
It’s vital as a helping-type of person that we remember what is most important and stick to that. It’s important that we say no to some things that, even if they’re good, because too much may burn us out. It’s good to have a limit on the activities that we do commit to.
Because when we do, we actually open the door for greater “God” opportunities to come in!
Thank you for the compliment, Mel! I’ll think I’ll take it!