“I am all in, but I don’t have to do it all.”

Kristen Fout- A reflection on the stewardship of Time

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all! (474, Hymnal 1982)

I am all in, but I don’t have to do it all.

I wear lots of hats that are part of who I am. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a sister. I am a pharmacist. I do crafts (mostly to keep the crazy away). Crochet, sewing, and candle making are my favorites. I am a member of St. Alban’s. 

These things, both my relationships and the things I do, have one foundation. Love, both amazing and divine, undergird my life. 

I am all in for Jesus. 

I used to think part of being all in for Jesus meant saying “yes” to everything I was asked to do. I often would agree to do too many things. I found myself over extended, not doing any of them well. I would often agree to things that were not consistent with my gifts. I didn’t do those well either. 

This wasn’t just a problem for me at church. Because I believe that my whole life is all in, I often ended up overextending at work as well.

Doing this made physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. There came a point where I hit bottom. I had to re-examine how I used my time and my talents. 

So, how do I determine, how do I discern what is mine to do?

  1. Look at the calendar. Does the task in question fit in with what is already scheduled? Does it steal my time for rest?  Is it a recurring commitment, or a one-off?  Is there an end point? Is there a time when I can step down if it’s not working for me? Do I need to set something else aside to do this?
  2. Discern God’s call. Sometimes God makes it very clear that something is mine to do. Sometimes he doesn’t. When he doesn’t, he intends for me to use my intelligence guided by experience. Does the task use my skills and gifts?  How does the task fit into the overall scope of what God is calling me to? 
  3. Pray!  I try to have a prayerful attitude whilst looking at the calendar and discerning God’s call, but I also spend time in prayer. I talk with God about the pros and cons. I talk with him about my hopes and fears. In prayer, things may come to mind that I hadn’t considered before. Sometimes I ask Jason to pray for me, or we will prayer together. If I have trouble praying, I might use a prayer like this one from the prayer book to get me started.

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious
favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our
works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify
thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting
life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.          BCP p.832

Using this method of discernment has helped to make me a better steward of my time and talents. Love so amazing, so divine, demands our soul, our life, our all, but it does not demand that we do it all!