For many of us we have a new year on our plates. It is a time to evaluate how we will use our time and energy. Some of us will have people knocking down our doors to do things–join committees, take a class, or facilitate a book club or prayer meeting. Many of us renew our commitments to activities that halt for the summer–we return to our volunteering, begin to study again, and are in full swing professionally.
What doors will open for you this fall? How will you choose to spend your time? Will you give your attention to family, friends, community or church? Can you balance the number of canvassers at your door wisely? Will you let the wrong people in? Will you forget to close the door and realize that too many folks have secured unreasonable amounts of your time and energy?
My slate looks pretty full for the fall and yet I am discerning my priorities and trying to see what God wants me to say yes to. A spiritual director once told me that my deepest struggle is discerning between two goods and learning how to say no. I want to say yes to a handful of commitments and then close the door without regret. I have already discerned several of those and so there is only a crack left for a persistent widow who might come knocking.
There is no shame in saying no if you have decided God has already called you to precious works and your life is full. I am still learning the balancing act while I am wholeheartedly embracing a yes and affirming that is enough. I look forward to encountering God in each yes, and thanking God for each no that I can stand firm in without an ounce of guilt.