Can I confess something? I don’t know when to quit.
I feel as if I always could do a little bit more.
Yesterday, for example. I finished everything I absolutely needed to accomplish for the day by 11am. I should have quit. I should have stopped and done something fun with my children or folded the laundry. Instead, I kept going. The voice in my head teased me with this lie, “Wouldn’t you feel even better if you got even MORE done?”
So, I kept working.
At 2pm I sat at my desk. Still working. Still listening to that prompt that said, “Just a little more, then you’ll be there. Then you’ll be far enough ahead. Then you will be able to relax.”
That’s what it always tempts me with. Rest. If I keep working, then I’ll be able to rest.
But here’s the truth. In anticipation of the upcoming “busy” season in our lives, I’ve been working for the past two weeks straight to get “ahead.” I’ve made twelve freezer meals ahead. I’ve cleaned my house so I’m ready to neglect it for a few weeks. I’ve washed sheets, rugs, organized, de-cluttered.
It feels like I’m swimming in molasses. Every ounce of work I do to get ahead never feels like enough. There’s always one more task to be completed that “should” have been on the list.
I recently read a tremendous book by my friend Jena Morrow called “Hollow.” It’s her very personal memoir of a severe battle with anorexia. In it, she details the way the anorexic thinks. “Just a few more pounds. . .then you’ll be there.” The voices that drive the extreme weight loss and destructive eating behaviors taunts.
It’s the same lie.
The lie that if we could just do a little more, be a little more . . .then we’ll get there. Then we’ll have arrived and we can stop striving.
But I ask you: Does the rich man ever have “enough” money? Can the anorexic ever lose “enough” weight?
Can I ever get far “enough” ahead in my blogging, school work, house work, or cooking?
The answer is no.
We strive for an earthly “enough” that never arrives.
I buy a false Gospel. It says if I work more, I earn rest.
But that’s not how Jesus operates.
Instead, we get to rest, undeserved. We can do nothing to earn our rest. It’s his grace alone that provides for us.
I will never be content with my weight. I will never be content with the cleanliness of my home. I will never be content with how organized my life is. I have to know when to know when to quit. I have to decide and stay “Stop!” I have to remember that no amount of “work” will ever yield the real rest I desire. No amount of “work” will lead me to a place of ultimate contentment.
That can only be found in Jesus. I will only be content in His grace.
Nothing else is sufficient for me.