Is this the right action?

John Wooden reminds us to, "Never mistake activity for achievement." We can all get wrapped up in the 'activity' and miss out on really achieving much in it. When we focus on the activity rather than the reason for it, the people involved in it, and the outcome we desire to see from it, we miss out on the moment. He also reminds us that it is the "little details that are vital...they make big things happen". There comes a time when we need to just 'make big things happen' in life. We need to buy that new car, move to a new house, start a new job, get involved in a new church, or learn to make new friends. Much activity doesn't mean we will accomplish any of these - it just means we may not sleep very well at night!

Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool. (Ecclesiastes 5:3)

As important as the activity may be, we need to be able to shut down and rest. We need that renewal for the health of our bodies and brains. If you have ever tossed and turned, unable to shut-off your thoughts, 'worrying' plans over and over again, you know how difficult it actually becomes to focus on the actual task. Your body did not rest well, and your brain worked overtime, but your task is no further along! Equally as important as rest to our bodies may be, sometimes there needs to be 'rest' to our words, as well. There are times when we have 'said enough' and just need to take a rest from saying anymore on the matter. Too many words to someone who has 'heard enough' and you may lose the moment.

The second verse of our chapter reminds us to 'let our words be few' - especially when we are bringing our plans before God. There are times when we bring our plans to him, kind of like an offering, and then expect him to bless them just as they are. We go on and on with him in prayer, telling him how it is something will be accomplished and then we walk away to 'tackle the plan'. We didn't take time to listen, and this will eventually show in the activity at hand, no matter how much we thought we had God's blessing on the matter. There are going to be those moments when God wants to show us the futility of our plans - we just may not want to hear that all that 'activity' isn't what he intended.

Let your words be few, your plans be 'flexible', and your rest complete. These are not just 'wise advice' given to us in God's Word - they are plans for our well-being. We need to listen well, be open to God's leading being different than what we may have originally planned and learn to shut-off activity so we can rest well. Restless nights might just be a good indicator that we are either 'too committed' in activity, too stubborn to veer from our plans, or too intent on sharing our thoughts way beyond someone's ability to hear them. Just sayin!


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