saying no to say yes

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6

I was pregnant the first time the Kirby Vacuum salesman came to my house. He had every sales-strategy in his arsenal as he built a convincing case for his dirt-ridding miracle machine. Prior to his visit I was content with the tidy/lived-in nature of my house, not at all in the market for a new vacuum.
“Do you really want your new baby crawling around in this filth?” he said in his final and most bold sales pitch.
God bless my husband who said laughingly, “I used to play in the dirt, and I turned out just fine.” Even with this comment to lighten the mood, I felt bad saying no, like I’d done something wrong. I wanted to say yes.
Eve seems to have the same problem.
Like Eve, I look around at what is pleasing, what I see as good and desirable and fill my life to the brim. My natural tendency is to add thing after thing to my already-overbooked calendar, until I find myself screeching into the end of each day. I commit to things that are not aligned with the ultimate way I want to spend my life. Notice that word spend? Just as in our finances, stewardship is needed with our time.
Saying yes is a good thing. But just because something is good does not mean that we should do it. Even Jesus said no. He didn’t equate business with virtue. Stopping to preach at every town would have been good, yet Jesus was focused on his calling, willing to say no. Jesus had a different pace in mind, and I wonder how God sees his children when they’re run-ragged with an over-booked life.
Sometimes it is only when we’ve courageously said no that we can truly say yes.

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