The Editor’s Desk by Guest Columnist Kerry Allen
My all-time favorite television series is The Andy Griffith Show. Each episode taught a moral lesson using the humorous life experiences of the people in the fictional town of Mayberry. One episode from the series contained a practical lesson many people need today.
The episode was titled “Man in a Hurry.” A businessman from out of town was traveling through Mayberry on a Sunday afternoon when his car broke down. While waiting on the mechanic he became very frustrated with Mayberry’s laid back approach to life. Ultimately, the calmness of the town’s people penetrated the heart of the “man in a hurry” and he embraced the spirit of Mayberry for his own good.
Of course, we don’t live in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. Our lives are filled with professional and social obligations. We have spouses and children to nurture. Our homes and vehicles must be maintained. Civic duties press upon us, along with the need to take care of our health. Add to this continuing education and personal growth, and we have a full schedule with very little down time. And somewhere in the midst of all of this we need to serve God.
We know our responsibility to God is our highest priority, yet the aforementioned items are also indispensable to life. Therefore, we pile on more and more tasks in an effort to please God until one day we find ourselves unable to cope emotionally, physically, or relationally. We find ourselves so drained that our spiritual life seems nonexistent. We can then become cynical. We feel worthless. We are burned out.
This is not what God intended. After all, Jesus came to give us abundant life! If we look carefully, we can find an antidote in God’s Word to cure our “man in a hurry” syndrome.
The antidote is found in Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Followers of Jesus Christ see no distinction between the secular and the spiritual. Our employment, recreational pursuits, and family time are all to be used in ways that glorify God and serve his redemptive purposes. Instead of adding more to our “to do” list, let’s reshape our thinking and be intentional with our present responsibilities.
Use your home as a beachhead for evangelism and small group discipleship. View the members of your sports team as prospects for evangelism. Value your place of employment as the point where God has placed you to establish his kingdom. Make the most of every opportunity in your church to allow your giftedness to be used to strengthen the body of Christ and bring glory to God.
This Labor Day follow the old adage to “work smarter, not harder.” Most of us are already plenty busy, and none of us can earn our way to Heaven no matter how much work we do. Therefore, we need to work smarter, not harder.
Accept your current obligations as opportunities. See the fields that are white for harvest beginning at your home address.
Perhaps it is not time to do more; rather, it is time to do less. By focusing on fewer activities, you will ultimately become more productive for God.
Kerry Allen is director of Person to Person Ministries in Hillsboro, Ohio. He and his wife Mona have two sons, Wade and Chad, who serve in full-time ministry.