Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in 50 different directions? Does your to-do list feel more like a “I’ll-never-ever-complete-it” list? Do you cringe when someone asks you to be part of something they are doing because you feel like you don’t have the time? Do you feel like your busy life is keeping you from doing the very things you should be doing? I know I did. I was so busy, yet I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. I took my first steps to fixing that a few years ago. I re-prioritized my life to first do what ONLY I can do.
A few years ago I was dying the slow death of busyness. I was a full-time pastor, a president of 2 corporations, a father of 3 boys, a husband of a pregnant wife, and an overly active church member. That was all fine. My problem was I couldn’t say no. It’s not that I didn’t know how to say no, I just couldn’t. “Would you like to lead a life group Yuri?” “Yes, Yes I would.” “Could you be on this committee?” “Yes, Yes I can.” “Can you lead worship for this event?” “Absolutely, I would love too.” My problem was, I really, really wanted to do all these things. They weren’t a bother at all. I just loved being busy … and busy loved being me.
I must admit, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with busy. Busy is the friend that always wants to hang out with you. Busy loves to take you places and push you into places you’ve never been. Lets face it though, busy is not always the best friend to have. Without priorities and boundaries in your life, busy will figure out a way to replace the things that matter with things that don’t. It will attempt to do so at the most pivotal points in your life. For me, my businesses were taking off. My work at church was booming. My family was growing … I was about the have my 4th child. All the while busy was tugging at me to do more. More opportunities than I could handle were popping up all over the place. All of a sudden things that I had wanted to do forever were being offered to me, and I couldn’t say no. Something eventually had to give. The first thing to go was sleep. Sleeping 3 to 4 hours a night became the norm for me. Even when I had time to sleep a full 7 hours, I woke up exhausted. Next went time with my family. After that went my friendships. I was on a downward spiral that had no safe landing in sight. About that time I had a random conversation in the hallway with my friend George Grubbs, Jr. George is a man who I’ve looked up to for years. At that time, he had so much more on his plate than I have ever had, yet he seemed to have it all under control. So ,I asked him the question “How do you keep it all together?” His reply was so simple that I’m not sure he even realized the relevance of it. He said, “It’s simple Yuri, I only do what only I can do. If someone else can do it, I don’t.”
Doing what only I can do. What a concept. What a revelation. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it will. Let me start by saying this: There are things on this earth that ONLY YOU can do. For example, if you are a wife, then ONLY YOU can be a wife to your husband. If you are a mother, then ONLY YOU can be mother to your child or children. And it doesn’t stop there. Only you can spend time with the Lord for you. Only you can pray out the plan for your life for you. Only you can be obedient to the things you’ve been called to do. Only you can be You.
The revelation I received that day began to grow in me. I realized there were so many good things I could be doing, but only so many GREAT things that ONLY I could do. I made a life-changing decision that day. I started by repented to my wife for my busy life that caused me to ignore her and our family. I asked God to help me create the list of things that ONLY I could do. My list was very simple at first; Only I can be Husband to Marissa; Only I can be Father to Caleb, Colsen, Hudson (and eventually Davis came along). Then, I took my busy schedule and began crossing off the things that weren’t unique to me. Many of the items were really tough to cross off. For example, I love leading worship as often as I can. I especially loved being on the weekend worship team. However, in order to be part of the worship team, I needed to dedicate a full weekend to it. That meant taking the only time I had during the week to spend with my family. Since I’m surrounded by so many great worship leaders and musicians – much greater than I am – it wasn’t something that ONLY I could do. So, I stopped volunteering on the weekends. With every item I was able to remove, there was a sense of freedom I experienced. I felt the weight of busyness being removed. I eventually sold one of my businesses and simplified my life to a single job. I even began leading worship on a weeknight that worked for our family. Most importantly, I was able to say no to anything that didn’t line up with this newfound set of guidelines. I was able to prioritize my life starting with the things that ONLY I could do.
Since I first received that revelation, I’ve shared my testimony numerous times with the people in my circle. I’m always amazed at how many people share the same struggles with busyness and over commitment. I’ve seen the freedom they’ve experienced as they re-prioritized their task list and started doing the things that only they can do. Maybe my testimony has touched a struggle you are experiencing in your life. Maybe you are feeling the weight I felt. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you clearly see the things that only YOU can do.
Lord, I pray that you speak clearly to each person reading this individually. I pray they hear your heart for their life. I pray they hear everything through filters of Grace, knowing that you are, and always will, be for them. Amen
Do What Only You Can Do was originally posted on September 15, 2010. Click Here to see the original article and comments.We welcome new comments on this post as well.