It has been one of the great engineering challenges of our life together as a family - packing our car trunk for family trips. Many times I thought it was going to be a choice between the luggage and one or two of the kids. But summoning all of my tremendous engineering skills, I would stuff every corner, try the suitcases every which way until they went in; find things the kids could sit on. And when all else failed, I called my wife. Well, we finally got it all in, just barely. Then came the big moment - drum roll please - as I tried to close the trunk. It closed! There was dancing in the streets! Then, from behind, came the ambush as one of the kids showed up with one more bag I didn't know about. And there begins the frustrating search for a place to put just one more things in the space that is already jammed.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "The 'One More Thing' Syndrome."
Cramming in one more thing where there's no more room - that's how a lot of us live. Let's go to Jesus' life - a Man who lived, to say the last, a fully-packed life. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 4:40. "When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, He healed them...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 for 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."
Jesus knew He had to say no - even though the needs were compelling. He had set His priorities. But people were crying, "Just one more!" - He said no. Some of us need to learn to.
We live in a constant state of being behind, because of the "one more thing" syndrome. It's time we need to be leaving - but maybe we can squeeze in just one more call, one more task - and we end up frazzled, overextended, late, not at our best - and without the peace that should be one of the hallmarks of a Jesus-follower.
You can add to your peace and sanity if you discipline yourself to say no to that one more thing to do. That's hard when there are so many needs - and so many people who are just filling their lives with themselves and have no time for the needs of others. But you have to stop at the limit of the amount you can do well. We say "yes" to too much because we tend to underestimate the job and all it will take before and after, and we overestimate ourselves and how much we can do. We leave no room for Mr. Murphy and his law either.
You can't meet every need. Not even Jesus did. God may want to develop someone else, or maybe those who are pushing for you are ahead of God's schedule, or maybe you need to unpack something else before you try to fit it in. You really don't do anyone a favor by taking on more than you can really do well. You're saying, "Depend on me" when you won't really be able to be dependable.
We tell young people to "just say no" to drugs. That's good advice for us responsibility addicts, too. So the next time you're tempted to over commit yourself, think of that trunk, packed with all it should hold. And, like your Master, have the wisdom and courage to resist trying to add just one more thing.