School is here for most of you and there are a million things to do and juggle. And while I’m not in school or have kids there, I’m moving in 3 weeks! Yikes! If we’re not careful we will become frazzled complainers and poor example-setters for those around us.
A few years ago my kind Lord gave me a ridiculous word picture that I have never forgotten. It’s always been one of my favorites. Since I’m a doer and on the high energy side (to put it mildly), the Lord often brings this idea to the forefront of my mind—that of a plate-spinner.
Have you ever watched one? It’s dizzying and stress-producing just to do so! (Check out this video if you need to get hyper!)
But in my crazy word picture, it’s even more hectic. Each spinning plate has their own bunch of plates that need to be spun! Ridiculous—I know. Maybe God just wants you and I to laugh when we’re stressed out!
Seriously though, the Lord is trying to tell you and me that it is impossible for us to keep all these details spinning properly, let alone maintain peace. That’s how absurd it is when you and I try to do life on our own, and expect things to work out. I certainly have broken a few (well many) dishes in my life when I was “in control.”
Managing the varied tasks and relationships of our lives can get quite complicated, for each category has subsets of its own. Take your family, work, ministry, school, projects, etc., then add all the pertinent subcategories. For example, using one of your kids list all the areas in his life, including problems. see the chart below:
Now don’t stop there—keep adding details to each subset. No wonder it’s so difficult to focus on any given area properly! Everything suffers:
- Relationships wane.
- Work efficiency plummets.
- Our joy has left the circus.
- And peace—what’s that?!
Unless, of course, God is the Plate-spinner. He is not one of those plates, mind you. He’s the One controlling each of those plates.
It is God directing our yielded lives that keeps us from having shattered ones.
It is through Him that we are empowered to keep all these areas going in the proper, best, and most long-lasting way.
With this type of approach, you will be able to give complete attention to one area at a time—without worrying. You can be fully present as you deal with your troubled child or work on a project deadline. Contrary to what most of us believe, our brains are not designed to multitask. Instead, you can choose to trust your Lord for guidance and wisdom as to how and when to address each area. And while you focus on that one plate, He will keep the other plates spinning and not allow any to fall and break (or even chip).
I encourage you to take each of your plates, individually and offer it to God. Be as specific as you can in naming your plates (and sub-plates). Prayerfully express your concerns about them to God. Then, by faith, let Him take control. Focus on Him instead of your plates. Follow through with whatever He says. He won’t drop the ball (plate)—He promises!
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Is 26:3)*
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…. (Heb 12:2)**
Remember friends, your life doesn’t have to be a circus!
*New King James Version (NKJV)®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
**THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide