Resolving To Do Less

The end of a year is met with regret over resolutions never met and with hope in anticipation of resolutions yet to be made. But like it or not, this time of year is met with our minds tilting in the direction of those things we might (try again to) change.

Most of the time, resolutions commit us to doing more. More exercise, more financial frugality, and so forth. I need to find a way to resolve to do less. To do less, that is, of the things which distract and make life hectic so that I might do more of that which really matters. How to dissect my life in such a way that those distinctions become clear is the challenge.

J. B. Phillips in his insightful little book Your God Is Too Small challenges my constant anxious activity, as others have done in the past.

“If there is one thing which should be quite plain to those who accept the revelation of God in Nature and the Bible it is that He is never in a hurry. Long preparation, careful planning, and slow growth, would seem to be leading characteristics of spiritual life.

“Yet there are many people whose religious tempo is feverish. With a fine disregard for its context they flourish like a banner the text ‘The King’s business requireth haste,’ and proceed to drive themselves and their followers nearly mad with tension and anxiety!

“It is refreshing and salutary, to study the poise and quietness of Christ. His task and responsibility might well have driven a man out of his mind. But He was never in a hurry, need impressed by numbers, never a slave of the clock. He was acting, He said, as He observed God to act—never in a hurry.” (pages 55, 56)

Hmmm. And of course there IS that thing about his yoke being easy. I need to resolve to do less.

4 thoughts on “Resolving To Do Less

  1. Thanks for sharing. My roommate Sara and I sat down yesterday and looked at where our time is going and what our priorities are and discussed the things that keep us going when we want to be more quiet and still. It continually amazes me how much I am motivated by a guilt brought on by the expectation of others when they never even said anything about my response times, or the amount of time I spend with them, etc.

    We both also spent some time in confession and acknowledging that so much of our struggle with time (as well as with money and food, etc.) comes directly out of our unwillingness to follow the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment in obedience to Christ, rather than setting our own goals or parameter and pushing ahead according to our own logic and common sense.

    It was a very humbling experience, but one full of rejoicing. It is always a joy to find that the Holy Spirit is still prompting you to obedience and that your heart also agrees 🙂

    1. And thanks for sharing your experience. I despair having much success n that direction, but God is a God of wonders. I’ll have some follow up posts to this one – when I get a chance!

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