We get invited to do things all the time. And no, not because we’re just so popular :), it’s just that there’s a lot of work to do here. I would love to become more involved with House of Hope, help lead our small group, finish all my Institute homework on time, develop a new Sunday School system, be able to (somehow) run our business and still teach the majority of the time, cook real meals every day (or even every other, let’s be honest…), help translate, improve our ESL program, be in the classroom more, teach violin, get to know the youth of our church, lead worship, and help coordinate our short-term teams. Oh, and train Osita to do more than “sit” and “shake.” And read more fiction. Ok, now I’m pushing it, I know…
Obviously, all of that = not gonna happen.
Without a specific job title or specific hours, we’ve been careful not to say yes right away to things because we know 1) we would always be working, and 2) we would be spread too thin to do any of it well.
And after 28 years, I’ve learned the damage that a lack of boundaries can bring to your life. Bad boundaries with relationships = unfocused and unhealthy. Bad boundaries with work = exhausted, burnt out, resentful, and again, unfocused. Especially coming from teaching in the States, where it is very easy to work 12 hour days to come home and do more schoolwork, I know how easy it is to get so distracted from the big picture.
So this week when we were asked to help out with House of Hope, my first thought, as usual, was to be careful. Don’t say yes too quickly, don’t add one more thing to the agenda that already has a list of things you want to do when you have time… Just be cautious.
And then, almost instantly, I hear this still small voice gently reminding me –
“Christine, I am never cautious with you. I loved you so recklessly that it put me on a cross...”
So this is what that means then? Completely forgetting about myself? Not worrying about my own needs? Is that even possible? Is it healthy?
And what I have finally realized is that it’s not about being reckless with other people, it’s about being reckless with God. It’s in loving Him recklessly that we find our true selves, and that we not only find but are also given the energy to do whatever He calls us to do. (FYI, that’s not always easy. Actually, it’s usually harder than not. And that’s why you need to be recklessly in love :)
There is room (PLENTY) for boundaries in our world. I still believe in saying no, limiting work hours, and having to sometimes distance yourself in relationships.
But not with God.
I don’t know exactly what it looks like or how to do it; all I know is that every time I try to figure that out, I sense Him reminding me to stop looking at all the people and things and just look at Him. If I am fixed on Him, everything else works itself out.
So maybe you need to set some boundaries in order to get to the point of knowing God and loving Him recklessly. (You won’t have any other choice once you really know Him, I promise!) I couldn’t encourage that enough.
And maybe you’re like me. Who still, after all these years, needs a good reminding that He is my first love, and He will never let me down.