Stop Striving

I’ve spent many years of my adult life knowing exactly what I wanted and going after it 110%.  I love dreaming big and figuring out all of the steps to accomplish whatever that dream might be.  I work hard and I always have.  There are times my brain never stops.  I have rabbit-trail ideas that lead to so much discussion within my own head and heart.  I see the potential of what could be and I determine that it is what should be as well.

I was meeting with a colleague; he saw something in me and brought it to the surface and I have spent the past few months trying to figure out if it is a part of me that needs to stay or leave.  I was sharing a project with him that I had been working on.  I had given several months of effort and revisions to it and I knew that it was at its best but as I was sharing page after page, he made the comment, “You are someone that always produces a 10 and yet you always seem to need a 12.”  It caught me off guard.  It has completely been my pattern throughout life to do my very best and then to take it a part, evaluate it, and improve it for whenever the next time I will need to use it. 

Everything as simple as a making a list for groceries, to living a healthy lifestyle, to the tasks within my home and workplace…everything I do and have always done, it never seems to be good enough for me.  Sure, I’ve titled it pursuing excellence, a great work ethic, just my personality, but after months of looking deep within, I realize the pattern and the pursuit I live day in and day out. I realize it has so much to do with my motivation.  I often find myself needing to produce more than 10s not just for the standard of excellence but truthfully so that I feel that I have done or been enough.

 As a follower of Christ, I know that I am enough.  It’s in this pursuit of more that I find myself striving in my own strength rather than allowing God to work through me for His glory.  It’s not the end result or the amount of effort, but it is truly a weakness to not be able to rest fully in giving my burdens over to the Father.

God desires for us to use our gifts and abilities for His Kingdom work.  He has placed within us everything we need to accomplish His purposes.  He wants us to find rest and peace in using those gifts to bring Him glory; not striving and stressing carrying the burdens of a life pursuing perfection.  Take a moment with me this week to meditate on Matthew 11:28-30.  Let’s allow ourselves to find the freedom that comes as we live a life of surrender rather than a constant pursuit of perfection.


Mande Chapman