Discern the Demands

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10

I like to check things off my “to do” list. I can get so caught up doing the things I THINK need to get done, and when I don’t get them done, I feel like the day was a bust.

I’m starting to realize that BUSYNESS can distract us from our REAL mission in life.

Some things we have to do are important things. Some are good things.

Many of us have jobs, to-do lists, sports, chores, errands to run. The list goes on and on.

Whatever we do, we should do those things as unto the Lord. As the Bible says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

But it is also easy to let busyness rob us from significant “God moments.”  They often show up as interruptions, at those exact moments when we least expect them.

As a teacher, there is a LOT of work that has to be done.

There have been times when I’ve picked up my kids from lunch or related arts only to find out that a couple of my students got into a disagreement. Then, instead of teaching my prepared lesson, I’m having to be the mediator. I get frustrated and think, “I need to be teaching math right now, but instead, I’m having to teach these students how to overcome conflict.”

Or I’ll be transitioning to another subject when a student comes over to me and wants to tell me a story. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “I don’t have time for this. I need to be teaching science.”

During my planning period, I’m in my classroom grading tests when a teacher comes in and wants to share something with me. I find myself thinking, “I’ve got so much to do. I don’t have time to talk right now.”

But here’s what I am learning.

Teaching is my job. I believe it is very important and I should teach to the best of my ability… but…

The real reason that I am a teacher is to teach others about Him.  Taking time for others is the most important part of my job.

The conflict with those students was an opportunity to teach them how to mend a hurting friendship.  That’s important!

The student and teacher who wanted to talk to me were moments where I could take time to listen and show them I care about them.  That’s important!

As pastor Steven Furtick says, we have to learn how to discern the demands.

So often “God moments” are disguised in packages with unlovely wrapping paper that we have no desire to unwrap. And if we are not careful, we will miss out on a valuable gift.

Let’s be on the lookout for those “God moments.”  Let’s pray that God will help us recognize them when they come.

Whether you have a job, you are a stay-at-home mom, or wherever God has you–life is all about relationships. Life is about investing in God and in relationships with others.

People are our mission fields. 

We need to keep our perspective on what’s MOST important. Invest in things that have eternal value.

Pastor Andy Stanley says that the standard of success is not measured by performance, but by relationships.

Maybe I didn’t get all my tests graded. Maybe I didn’t get all those subjects on my lesson plans taught, but that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day.

But at the end of the day, If we love God a little more and if we took the time to love the people He placed on our paths–It was day well spent. The same God who multiplied five loaves and two fish can just as easily multiply our time.

In ten years, people are not going to remember my standardized test scores. They aren’t going to care about my awards or accolades. My trophies will eventually get thrown in the trash.

And when I stand before the Lord one day, He’s not going to pull out my students’ test scores and say, “Well Rachel, why didn’t your kids score higher on that test? You didn’t do a very thorough job teaching those moon phases.”

No! He is going to look at how I kept the two most important commandments. How did I love Him and how did I love others?

Love is worth investing in. Our purpose in life is always centered around love. Life is all about loving God and loving others.

There is so much out there demanding our time and attention. We have to learn to discern between the urgent and the important. We must learn to discern the demands.

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2 thoughts on “Discern the Demands

  1. What a wonderful reminder! I am very successful at this….for maybe 3 minutes!;) This seems to be something that God keeps bringing across my path. I am finding that the more I try to be “in tune” with Him, trying to be mindful of Him, the more at peace I am with the interruptions. In my own strength all I can see is my to-do list down the drain. In His strength I am able to see the importance of what I have been interrupted with. Oh, the tyranny of the urgent! So often I choose the urgent over the important. May God give me spiritual eyes to see the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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