Thursday, November 17, 2005

Singleness of Mind

I’ve had a fever all week that keeps peaking, then falling, then peaking again. So I’ve missed many meetings, appointments, and outings, but it’s given me tons of time to think. One morning, as I tried to focus through my headache, I started reading the various pieces of advice and scripture taped around the edges of my computer. One was from Romans 12:8-9 “Give yourself to your gift…with zeal and singleness of mind.”

God has given each of us one or more gifts. They give us pleasure when we exercise them, and they bring God glory (and generally are useful to others.) Those of us on this blog believe writing is our gift. My thirtieth book comes out in 2006, and I hope there will be many more. And yet… I hadn’t been able to find any time to write for weeks. I was certainly not giving myself to my gift, as we are commanded to do.

I absolutely drooled over the idea of being focused with a “singleness of mind.” My mind lately had been scattered in a million directions. This week I took time to examine my schedule and saw why. I had no fewer than seven jobs in four ministries of various sorts that I contributed time and/or writing to, usually both. This is in addition to my own book writing, teaching, editing and critiquing work. No wonder I was sick a lot and under stress. I just kept taking on more things, muttering under my breath, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

So now I’m beginning the painful time of paring back my list of activities. I don’t think the Lord means for us to live at such a frantic pace. I’d lost my peace, plus my joy in my work. How about you? Does this describe you too? Rather than ask for more strength to keep up with my nutty schedule, I felt it was time to let him “lead me beside the still waters.” As I pray over each ministry activity and decide which ones to let go, my heart gets lighter. I look forward, by January, to being able to give myself to my gift “with zeal and singleness of mind.”

No Boys Allowed (Zondervan 2004)
Girlz Rock (Zondervan 2005)

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