Friday, September 7, 2012
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This has got to be one of the great engineering feats in the world - packing the trunk of our car for a family trip. Oh, boy, those were the days. Maybe you can relate to that. We had a family of five; quite a challenge to get all of that luggage in one trunk. So, I would stuff every corner, trying the suitcases every which way, and then I'd see if there was something the kids could sit on during the trip. And if all else failed, I called my wife and she could figure it out. Finally, you get it all in, but just barely of course.
And then the big moment comes. There's a drum roll as I try to close the trunk, and after a couple of tries, it closes - barely! Then along comes one of the kids with one more bag I didn't know about. So, the frustrating search begins - looking for a place to put just one more thing. We would try to cram one more thing in this space that was already jammed. Wait a minute! That sounds a lot like our lives doesn't it?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'One More Thing' Syndrome."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God catches Jesus in the middle of that in Luke 4, and beginning at verse 40. It says, "When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness." Okay, His day is almost over, but it looks like it's just about to begin again. "And laying His hands on each one, He healed them." Now, listen to this, "At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him, and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said, 'I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.' And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea."
Now, here's a side of Jesus we don't often think about. Jesus knew how to say "no." Did you notice that? There were more needs; they begged Him to stay. But He said, "No, I can't." He had set His priorities, and the people were crying, "Just one more!" And He said, "No." Maybe some of us should learn to do that. We live in a constant state of being behind, I think, because of the "one more thing" syndrome.
You know, it's time to leave and we say, "Oh, just one more call; just one more email. I'll just get one more task done." And we end up frazzled, over-extended, late and not at our best. Oh, you can add peace and sanity to your life if you discipline yourself to say no to that one more thing before you go. Look at the bigger picture. There are so many needs crying for your time, for your attention, and you can only do as much as you can do well. Maybe you're doing that right now.
And then like the child running out to the over-packed trunk, "One more thing!" Why do we say yes? Usually because we underestimate the job; we don't really count the cost of what it's going to take, or we over-estimate ourselves and think it's got to be us that does it. Hey, realize you can't meet every need; not even Jesus did.
Five liberating words from the mouth of John the Baptist in John 1: "I am not the Messiah." See, God might want to develop somebody else to do it, and you'll get in the way if you do it. Maybe the people who asked you are ahead of God's schedule. Maybe you need to unpack something else before you put this in. You don't do anyone a favor by taking on more than you can really do well. You're saying to people, "Depend on me" but you know you won't be able to be dependable; not in all of that.
Now, we're telling teenagers today when it comes to drugs, "Just say no." Well, that's not just good for drugs. It's good for us responsibility addicts too. I'm one. I know. The next time you're tempted to over-commit yourself, think of that trunk that's jam packed with all that it should hold.
Have the wisdom and courage to resist that temptation to add just one more thing.