Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learn to graciously say no...

Two points to this post. Learning to graciously say no...tied in with "don't rush."

Hettie responded to Eirwen's comment of not worrying by informing me that my generation or "young people nowadays" are so busy. We say "yes" to too many things. She said when they were my age, everything was done at a much more leisurely pace. Here are just a few points she said that I took down:

It'll all fall if it's not in His Name and Power. (meaning the things we do.)

It's a discipline. (Saying no to people or opportunities. They've had to re-inforce this in recent years as they've been able to do less without taking naps inbetween. Made me wonder: am I senstive to my current season and what discipline looks like with my schedule...and how saying yes/no today might affect my schedule differently than last season?)

It takes grace to say no.

Hettie said that she almost said "No" to me coming over for lunch. But with Eirwen's, "Yes! That would be lovely!" -- she couldn't let her down. She looked up at me and said with a smile, "And now we're suffering the result."

There's a difference between what has to be done and what can be done.

Ask, "Why am I doing this? For self or to honour the LORD?"

Again, I asked: How? How do we know when to say no? The answer:

Keep close to the LORD. Moment by moment; keep close. Ask Him to show you the way. He will give you promptings.

(Just a note: in the midst of this, their hearts overflowed with praise and thanksgiving to the LORD as they recounted for me different times that the sovereign hand of God had arranged things JUST SO in their schedule. When they had said "yes" and then it got canceled, with a real need immediately popping up to take its place. This heart of gratefulness was woven throughout our conversation. They even shared about how God regularly provides parking spaces for them!)

I began to ask: What? What are the things to keep as priorities?

Out of all the things I'm sure they do throughout the weeks, you know what the only two were they shared with me besides church meetings?

1. Fellowship and accountability with very very close friends once a week. We're talking hours devoted to this. A commitment all afternoon each and every week. To prevent their hearts from "coolinig off" they said.

2. Reaching out to an un-saved friend once a week-- again, really investing hours into this relationship.

I thought this was a great picture of what our priorites could look like. Sure, it looks different for everyone- and different within respective seasons...but we need to be reminded of the Gospel in our own lives...and then share it with others.

I was struck by their "no rush" approach to everything. Even when Hettie was giving me directions in the car it was, "When it's convenient for you, get in the next lane." They lived and spoke as if they had all the time in the world! What if I did that? Why do I feel like I need to get on to the next thing? Am I feeding my idol of productivity? Am I enjoying the LORD in this moment- here and now?

It's funny how much growth I can see in this area of my life just being out of the American culture...and yet, oh, how much more growth needs to take place! America is very "productivity driven"...it's built into us and we don't even know it. (obviously this is a very general, broad sweeping statement...) I still battle regularly reminding myself that certain things just "aren't that big of a deal."

I've gotten a lot of grief over the last several years for "being a granny" or "never doing anything" or "being boring" when I say no. (I wonder if I've missed the gracious part.) But in listening to Hettie and Eirwen and the fear they have of the LORD and their desire to honour Him, even if no one understands...provoked me once again. In some ways, only I know my limitations. And I need to not be afriad or apologetic of them. This will be an ever-changing thinig in our lives: schedules. We need much grace and wisdom. (Good thing we know where to get that from!)

So, what about you? Are you learning the art of graciously saying, "no"?

1 comment:

My year in Wales... a memoir in the making said...

Golly, I am taking some serious notes here! Please keep this truth coming!