Don't Trade the Best for the Good
It really annoys me when people tell younger people that they can “have it all”. Its simply not true. You cannot have everything you could possibly want to do or have and let them all dwell peaceably together. We have to make choices between the best and the good. What does that mean? Let me explain:
What if you have a serious chocolate craving and are given the choice between multiple pieces of mediocre chocolate or a few pieces of decadent chocolate? You would be silly to choose the so-so chocolate over something that is fully satisfying to your taste buds. It is the same in our lives; we must be diligent to choose the best over the good.
How does this play out in our lives? First off, we must make a choice between our own desires and those of God. This will probably be different in each person (I don’t mean moral right and wrongs, those are the same for each individual) such as where we live, who we marry and the method we use to train our children.
We should carefully weigh our decisions to make certain they are the “best” and not just “good”. In my own case this has meant choosing to stay home with our children, homeschooling and healthy living. There are many interests I have that I currently can’t spend time on simply because to do so would neglect my best things in life for things that are just good.
When we allow our lives to become overburdened with good things they smother out the best and most important things. I get asked to do things that I must say no to because while they might be inherently good (a weekly Bible study for example) I do not have the extra time to dedicate to that right now. When my children are older, perhaps that will be something I do. Some people don’t understand the necessity in saying no to constantly doing or achieving but its very needful to me! I get very overwhelmed and cranky when I have too many obligations.
How do we choose what is most important or God’s best for us? Pray! Read your Bible. Talk to your spouse. You know that if you have a spouse and children then by God’s Word they must come before other pursuits. This can sometimes be a hard pill for us to swallow because we have a tendency to put our wishes and desires before God’s Word (at least I do).
All this is not to say that we must take no time for ourselves because that is detrimental to our health and the happiness of our families. We just must ask ourselves what our motive and goal is: Is it to improve my well-being so I am a pleasant, healthy individual who can give myself freely to the best God has given me? If so, then it is highly beneficial to us. (reasonable amounts of exercise is an example that comes to mind). If however, it is excessive or with selfish motives we should forgo our activity.
I honestly never expected my life to turn out the way it has and you know what? That’s good! Because the dream I had for my life was too little, too temporal. The dream God had for my life is much bigger, much greater and eternally minded. I’m so thankful God wasn’t content to leave me in my selfish dream and through the addition of our 4 little ones has refined me (through fire many times) and made me turn to Him. If I had chosen to follow what was “good” I would have been working a full-time job away from my babies for the pursuit of more things and missed out on the very best God had to offer me! I’m so thankful that for once I listened to His voice instead of my own 🙂 I hope and pray that I can do that each day and choose His will over mine!