My life can be a grind. Everyday there is more “to do” and more expected to be done. Sometimes I feel I am drowning under the march of time, the pressure to finish, the never ending “To-do” list that grows without you adding to it. And there is always the good stuff I “don’t get round to” or “wish I had done.”
Sometimes it can feel that life is doing me rather than me doing life!
Ever feel like your life is just too busy and that you are never actually achieve anything? Ever feel like it is totally out of control and no matter what you do no-one is going to be happy with you anyway? That no matter how hard you work, it is never going to make a difference and you are bashing your head against a wall? Sometimes it would be easier just to crawl into a hole. It is easy to look back over a period of time and be critical of ourselves, but…
The heart regulates the hands
Whatever we set our hearts to, that is what will occupy our hands. Makes one wonder what is in your heart in the first place? What is really important to your heart?
If we do not manage and watch our hearts, our hands will do the last thing we decided to do. This statement has become a rule to live by for me, it implies that all action starts with what the heart decides. The saying comes from 2 Cor 8:12 (MSG):
“The best thing you can do right now is finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands.”
So if we “never get round to it”, the question is: Was it in our hearts to start off with? The real place to start is not the ‘to-do list’ but our heart commitments, the beliefs that our actions are based on. My granny always said, “You do what is most important to you.”
But my truth is: “good intentions grow stale,” and sometimes a year down the line, or a project down the line, or a relationship down the line, we find that we have made no progress, but our “heart is still in the right place” and the “desires are still real”.
The heart commitment is there, but still we have no progress.
2 Cor 8:12 says that once your heart is clear and you have committed to a path of action, we are to “do what we can, not what we can’t.”
Power flows into our lives when we commit to something. Commit, work with what you got, do what you can, make a start and then the energy will flow from there.
In Matt 26:36-45 , the disciples had failed to stay awake, while Jesus was praying in the garden. Can you imagine the despair that they must have felt at that moment? Here Jesus had asked them to keep watch with Him, they had been given an opportunity to serve Him and support Him. That opportunity was now lost, gone and there is nothing they could do to alter their performance in that moment. Can you feel the disappointment in themselves? They have failed to do that which their hearts longed to do. Their hearts were in the right place, they had good intentions, but somehow they just were not able to get “to it”.
But I love what Jesus does in that moment, He basically says to them:
“Arise and do the next thing.”
Jesus does not allow them to dwell on their failure, their lost time, the lost opportunity, to dwell on that which they did not do. He does not condemn them, He truthfully tells them where they are right now and then tells them to get up, go forth and do the next thing.
It comes back to the “do what you can and not what you can’t.”
So, if you are feeling discouraged today by the action you did not take when your heart burned for it, here is what I understand:
- Never let the sense of past failure, what you did not do, corrupt your new action.
- If you are alive today, you still have a life to live in which you can glorify the Lord. It is not too late.
- The heart regulates the hands—get your heart right, commit to it in your heart.
- Work with what He has put in your hand right now, “do what you can,” commit and make a start to a new momentum.
- Start with a small action and the power of the Spirit will build the momentum. He will give you the energy, clarity and wisdom to do it.
There is always a new day, a new start and new beginning. Let the heart regulate the hand.
Father, thank you that You have plans for my life and that it is never to late to start with what You have put on my heart. Help me not to cry about lost opportunity, but to arise and do the next thing. I present my heart to You and ask Lord that you filter through the motivations of my heart and reveal anything that is not of You. Help me to understand and comprehend what You have placed in my heart so that my hands will be motivated. Then help me Lord to do what I can, through the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to You.