Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Good is Good Enough?


It’s been one of those tense times. Too much work at work. Too much stuff  to fit in when I’m not at work. Not sleeping well. Trying to get back into shape after my ruptured disc episode. Trying to edit the sequel novel to Dancing Priest. Trying to get my head around taking some vacation. Trying to keep the yard and gardens watered in a drought. Too much of my mind going in a dozen directions at once.

Physical and emotional tiredness give way to spiritual tiredness.

Just a few weeks ago, it was all good. Things were going well. I was in a tremendously creative period at work and with my writing. The publisher was excited after reading the manuscript for the second novel.

So what happened?

Life.

I was trying to maintain a carefully constructed balance. It didn’t crash, but I think I sagged.

Notice the emphasis on “I.” I was not only trying to do too much, I was doing too much. And much of it had to do with “I.”

My “it’s all about performance” genes were kicking in.

I forgot that, in the end, performance is useless, a trap, a snare. Performance is never enough. No performance, no matter how good, is ever really good enough.

I forgot that performance is not the same thing as work.

I forgot about grace.

 “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace,” says Jerry Bridges in The Discipline of Grace. “And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”

Our performance is not the high calling we are called to. Our work is.

There’s a difference. And it’s significant.


Starting today, Tim Challies at Informing the Reforming is leading a discussion of The Discipline of Grace. To join the discussion on Chapter 1, “How Good is Good Enough,” please visit Tim’s site.

8 comments:

Tulika Verma said...

Going through a similar phase. But I am glad you stopped, and breathed, and decided to focus on work and not performance. :) In such situations, I generally borrow me from myself and go on a long walk. :) Good luck!

Patricia said...

This is one of the reasons I so love the Body of Christ. When some of us are down, there's always others who are offering a hand to lift us up. I'm in a bit of a weariness slump, too. Weary of pain and fatigue and the work that keeps me from accomplishing. Just yesterday I told God, "I just want to be productive." I hadn't connected the dots to see that I'd slipped back into a "works" mentality until you just now pointed that out. Like you, I've momentarily forgotten about grace. Thank you, Glynn, for sharing your own need and pointing me to Tim's discussion. It might be exactly the hand up I could use.

Sheila Siler said...

A good reminder to us all. I hope you start sleeping well, I find rest makes a huge difference.

H. Gillham said...

hugs

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Hang in there, Glynn, and DO take that vacation, the time when God can re-create you.
Blessings!

jasonS said...

Such a powerful truth--performance does not equal work. Grace is available. Grace is sufficient. Good stuff, Glynn. Now go get some rest. :)

S. Etole said...

Prayers continue, Glynn.

nance said...

“it’s all about performance” genes...that's a good one.
sounds like this could be a good book.