There’s something about a warm cup of coffee, open laptop, and full day of work ahead that gets me excited. (OK, before you judge me too harshly for what I just said, know that I do like to have real fun!) While this isn’t my idea of a summer vacation, there is something about dreaming, creating, and working hard that gets me so pumped. I guess you could say I like getting things done. However, this idea isn’t a new one (especially at the beginning of a new year) and if you follow any type of social media, you’ve likely seen countless posts on this topic. The truth is, I like to be productive. I like hard work. I like running in the lane God has placed me in, and if I were really honest, I guess you could say I like the hustle of it all. Have you ever experienced this realization?
This word hustle has gained a lot of traction, hasn’t it? People striving, organizing, and aspiring to be the very best they can be while offering the very best they can. However, that’s only part of the equation. I’ve found that in my relatively short life, I’ve often missed an essential part of the equation. While work is ultimately a good thing (remember, God gave Adam work in the garden before The Fall), we cannot stay in this place of tireless productivity 24/7. Not if we want to be truly effective. Not only will we burn out, but Jesus is wonderfully clear that we need His power to bear fruit. We need to remain in Him.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 (NLT)
Of course, the productive part of my brain is thinking,
Um, that sounds awfully still, Lord, almost lazy. Don’t I need to give my all, working hard for the Kingdom and such? I’m sure you can practically hear the Martha in me squirming to do something. (Insert awkward laugh here.) However, even in the example of Martha, Jesus was never harsh, severe, or even condemning. He simply directed her to the better way, the way of sitting at His feet and drinking from the source that enables us to do more within a few short seconds than we could ever do in countless hours on our own.
So here we are, only a few short days into 2019, and I’m again sweetly reminded of my need for Him. Thank You, Jesus, for this better way—the upside down, opposite, abiding, resting way that enables us to do more than we could ever hustle.