Monday, April 13, 2009

What's On Your Plate?

Have you every been to eat at a buffet restaurant? The kind of place where you know that every delectable food choice there is available to you with no restraints, just for your enjoyment? Have you ever had the talk with yourself on the way to the line - "just take a little bit of what you want" or "just pick the most healthy foods"? But when you are in line and face to face with all that food, it all looks so good and you heap your plate to overflowing. When you get back to your table and begin enjoying that food, soon you get full and then the overfull plate begins to not look so good. There is simply no room for that extra food on the plate in your stomach. You begin to feel very full and know that you have taken on too much. The food left on your plate gets tossed aside and wasted.

Sometimes life can do that to us. As we evaluate our time, we begin to fill it up with activities. Sports activities for the kids, the booster club for that sport, church activities which lead to meetings and work nights, extra commitments at work, taking on a special project, helping a friend with a project, etc. Now these are all good things and ways that we can be a blessing to others. When we are come face to face with these opportunities, they look great. We begin to put them on our plate of life. Quickly another opportunity arises and we put that on too. As we move along through our days and weeks, more choices and opportunities come along and if we're not careful - we have our plate overloaded. What looked so good at one time has multiplied and is sapping our strength and energy. We've got too much on our plate and we cannot "digest" it all. So, something has to get tossed aside or left unattended. Our commitment slips and the task does not get done. When our plate is too full, we find ourselves rushing around trying to keep it all together, but little by little what is important begins to fall aside. Many times what does get accomplished pales in comparison to what has been neglected.

I have fell prey to this many times. A recurring theme to help me stay on track is to only take on what I can handle. By handling something, that means to be able to do an excellent job and to bring this task to completion. Colossians 3:17 tells us "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." This means to do it to the absolute best of my ability, not for men to see, but for God to see and to be honored by it. Truly God sees deeper than man and He knows if this task was done half hearted or if I was grumbling in my heart about it. Doing things with excellence means using whole hearted devotion and focus. Completing the task means seeing it through to the very end and knowing that my absolute best has been given.

A good rule of thumb when going through the buffet of life is "can this be done with excellence"? Choose few and choose carefully and your choices will count for the glory of God!


  1. Stopping by from Motivate Me Monday =)

    "Can this be done with excellence?" This is the question I ask myself, even about mundane tasks, so that I know I am walking with integrity. What a great post!

  2. What a great reminder, I'm constantly overfilling plate lately-I've been feeling the pull to say and adjust how I do things. I'm in need of balance! Thanks for the encouragement to seek it out!

  3. What a perfect question to ask ourselves. I try to do this as well - because I want to be intentional about stuff, not overwhelmed and harried!

  4. What a great reminder - and image from the buffet. I've never been a big fan of buffets but would much rather enjoy a meal with carefully selected, planned and prepared foods that I can - not only be fed by - but can really enjoy!! Something to think about when making those decisions throughout the day - and week.

  5. Most excellent advice! I'm going to be taking this to heart. Praying you had a wonderful Easter.

  6. Excellent thoughts! I am trying to remember this. I was asked to do something a couple of weeks ago and wanted to say yes because I thought I "should." After praying, I felt that I needed to say no as it would cause neglect of family needs. I don't like to say no, so it was very hard!

    I just now realized that I am making plans for an out-of-state trip that I didn't know I would be making a couple of weeks ago and I will actually be gone the day that I was supposed to do the thing I was asked to do!

    God knew! We need to remember to go to Him with even our daily obligations and He will lead us and help us to focus on what's important.

    Have a blessed Monday!

  7. "can this be done with excellence?"

    Thank you for this. In fact, it's exactly what I'm working on...great post! :)


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