Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Right Thing at the Wrong Time

Have you ever been a part of something that caused you to be torn in a million different directions? I have. My freshman year at Appalachian, I joined a service group that is responsible for planning and putting on big service events at our school like Dance Marathon, which is a national event that happens at universities all over the country to raise money for children in need, Blood Drives (and might I add, AppState holds the record for the biggest student run university blood drive in the country!), and other awareness-driven weeks like Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, that challenges students to face the harsh reality of poverty in our community.

All of these are great things, and my heart was definitely in it 100 percent. I love serving others and showing them Christ's love through giving my time, because I truly believe it is the most precious gift you can give. However, two years in, I was barely holding my head above water, stressed beyond belief trying to balance the time I put into this service group, my schoolwork, my friends, family and a newly long-term relationship with my boyfriend who moved away from Boone after he graduated. I was constantly being pulled in a hundred directions of things I loved, constantly frustrated that I couldn't be in more than one place at a time. This stress is just one of the things that led me to quit - yes, that painfully disappointing word- quit - this group that I was so passionate about.

There is a fine line between doing something that is good and doing something that is good for you. There is also a fine line between doing the right thing and doing it at the right time. The words, "The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing" forever ring in my mind as one of my favorite quotes (it can apply to so many situations in life).

Sometimes it takes being stretched so thin that you realize that something's gotta give before you are willing to "give up." As much as I detest the glorification of "busy" (and I'll do a post about that soon), I hate even more the negative connotation and disappointment associated with "quitting" or "giving up." My Momma didn't raise me to be a quitter, that's for sure, but I think part of growing up is learning when to walk away from something that's no longer good for you. "Sometimes giving up doesn't mean you're weak, sometimes it means you're strong enough to let go."

Quitting wasn't easy for me. It's not my nature. As a strong-willed, independent person, I like to (falsely) make myself believe that I can do everything. Have you ever heard that "you can do anything, but you can't do everything"? Well, it's true. If you stretch yourself too thin, you won't be able to give anything the attention it deserves because you'll always have something else in the back of your mind that you need to get to, that you need to finish, that you need to address... It's a never ending cycle that only leads to disappointment and exhaustion.

So, there's a fine line between being a quitter and being smart enough and strong enough to know when to walk away. If you are in a situation where you can't reach your full potential because you're stretched so thin, take some time to seriously consider how it will benefit you ten, twenty, fifteen years from now. Don't worry, where God closes a door, He opens a window, and He will bring along something even better.

"Look carefully then, how you walk- not as unwise, but as wise - making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." - Ephesians 5:15-17

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