My Gift of Over Commitment
Since I've graduated from college (about 7 months ago now), I have started a new job as a Nurse, written a short book, begun the process of going from a step-down ICU nurse to an ICU nurse, attempted to start a non-profit organization, and gotten a part-time job. One could say that I shouldn't be allowed free time.
But despite how cool I thought it was to do some of these things, I have also reaped the consequences of trying to do them all at once; the consequences of over committing my time and under committing to my relationships and dreams.
And let me tell you, the consequences of over commitment are very, very real.
Exhaustion. Anxiety. No time. Scheduling issues. Messy apartment.
Over commitment is not a pretty or glorious thing y'all.
So I decided to compile a list of everything I've learned from my season of overcommitment. Here are 5 gifts/lessons I've received by over committing myself:
1. What do you actually care about
When you graduate from college, generally you have some idea of what you are supposed to do (start a job, grad school, move back home, etc.), but rarely do you actually know what you want to do. The same thing can happen when we jump into life and let the busyness of getting married, having kids, advancing in our jobs, and buying a bigger house.
At any given time, in any given season of life, busyness and over commitment can consume us and lead us to lose sight of what our priorities really are. Because of this, it is hugely important that we always keep them fresh in our mind; remind ourselves of them daily.
The high school I went to listed their priorities as this: God, family, and school. And I think they might have been on to something.
The only things that will truly last from this life and on into the next is our relationship with God and the relationships we have with others whom we hope to spend eternity with. Everything else (new car, big yard, better job, more money) will all rot away.
2. It's okay to Quit
I don't think I've ever quit anything in my entire life. I mean unless it was due to fact that I was going to college, graduating, or I don't know, leaving the country, there has never been a time when I just quit something because I didn't want to do it anymore, or didn't have time for it; I generally always made time. I almost didn't play three sports my senior year of high school but... I still did.
But surely as I say this, I will be quitting my newly acquired part-time job come January.
The term "quitter" (which I'm not even sure is an actual word) has always had a very negative connotation in my family. "A quitter never could," was what I was always told.
Looking at this now however, from someone who has over committed their time to things that probably shouldn't have consumed my time, I am realizing that sometimes it is okay to quit things.
It is okay to quit doing drugs (hopefully we all know this). It is okay to quit something if you feel like God is calling you somewhere else (and you have prayed and consulted with community, mentors, etc.). And it is okay to quit something that is just flat out distracting you from God.
The only thing God wants our time to be consumed by is Him and His works that He has set before us. Anything else, He's perfectly okay with us quitting.
3. Rest is important
They said sleep was for the dead...they said sleep is for the weak...
But take it from someone who genuinely cares for you...sleep. is. important.
And if sleep isn't your thing, just rest in general.
Rest is vital for meaningful and joy-filled life. I mean God made the Sabbath for a reason, y'all. We have to have it. Our body needs it. Our souls need it. And our God calls us to do it. He wants us to rest. To step outside of our world and step into His.
And over commitment just won't allow for that.
4. You can't do it all on your own
The other thing that struggled immensely when I became over committed was my time in God's word. My schedule consumed my time and my schedule did not include time with the Lord.
And it showed.
Almost immediately my anxiety increased, and I became overwhelmed by my inability to truly commit 100% to any thing I had committed myself to.
When we're not spending time in God's word we are taking everything into our own hands. We stop seeking His guidance and start trusting ourselves. And quite frankly, this life has a lot of weight to bear. We can't do it without Him. Without His guidance, without His peace that surpasses all understanding, and without His wisdom - it's just not possible.
5. Be thankful for what you have
I initially picked up my part time job because I had quite a few expenses early on after I graduated that I didn't think I could handle on my own. I started a non-profit because I thought I might want to do something else other than be a nurse or I wasn't sure I wanted to be in the hospital.
But the truth is, I was just panicking. Looking greener or more stable pastures almost immediately after I'd just arrived in a new one. I barely even took a chance to look around and realize what I had to be grateful for. Things like a job, awesome co-workers, and free time.
Often times I think we feel like we have to do a lot to make a big impact. But I think, so many times we get so caught up in the doing a lot and forget about the people and the God we are supposedly doing it for.
If we want to show the world God, we still have to take time to spend with Him ourselves. If we want to teach others about God, we have to first spend time with the teacher. If we want to create things so that the world can see God through our work, we have to first know what He would have us create.