Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Problem with Performance

"Busyness is not a spiritual gift."
From an interview with
~ Lisa Harper ~

My little Isabella has been growing so fast. She is walking, trying to talk, and attempting to be a little “helper.” Yesterday I watched her grab a broom and try to sweep the kitchen floor. She moved awkwardly, yet she was working as hard as her little 13 month body would allow. She stopped when she saw me, dropped the broom , grinned and began to clap. I knew that was my cue to stop and applaud as well, “Yea Izzie! Good job!” Pleased by the praise she had received, she then toddled off.

As I watched her I realized that at such a young age, she had understood that she was being praised for her performance! Now of course she has not grasped that entire concept, however I began to think back that at each and every accomplishment she had made, we would applaud and cheer for her. The more we would reward her with praise, the more she would perform. She delighted in the praise and attention we gave her for her effort and accomplishments.

Isn’t that what we do sometimes? We keep ourselves so busy so we can relish in the affection, attention, and praise we might receive because we have become performance based. We want everything to be perfect and if it is not we might lose our focus, get frustrated or just give up.

However, as I have been pondering Lisa Harper’s statement, “Busyness is not a spiritual gift,” I have started to realize that God has not called us to be perfect- or busy. He’s called us to Him. And He desires nothing more than we please Him with the gifts, tools, and abilities He has given us, but not to the demise of ourselves or anyone else.

Our society has become obsessed with being “busy” because we have grown accustomed to being performance based. As children we were praised for good grades, completing chores and for cleaning our plate. As we grew into young adults, we were pressed to work harder to get the praise, and as adults, we over schedule, under sleep, over stimulate, and over commit so we feel like we have “performed” well enough.

I am guilty. Let me be the first one to say it! “Hi, my name is Tara and I am a “busy-oholic…”

There’s nothing wrong with gushing over our kids when they do something great, but at the same time, let’s teach them through our own behavior that pleasing God by loving Him and being obedient to Him is enough.


Denise said...

Beautiful post, thanks for sharing.

Nancze said...

I enjoyed your post and agree wholeheartedly. God Bless.

Christine said...

Tara, you are so right. Our performance-based society pervades our lives even where we don't necessarily invite it. I once read a book called"The Performance Trap" and it helped release me from that mentality, though it is still difficult at times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the story about your adorable daughter!

MiPa said...

What a life-changing thought: He has not called us to be busy, He has called us to Him. Thank you!

Sandy said...

Great post! I have done several teachings on this......it's a constant reminder to me in this busy world to take time to Be Still and KNOW that he is God. To know that he is God we need to be STILL! I couldn't agree with you more!

Nan said...

Hi Tara, it's me Nan from the League of Pastors' Wives! :^D ((waving))

I just wanted to let you know that I posted an announcement at the blog today but am going around to everyone on the blogroll just to let them know in person! I'll just post it here. Let me know what you think if you get a minute!

Have you written anything specifically to other pastors' wives or to "the world" about life as a pastor's wife? Would you like to share it here? I am hoping to open up this blog to being a place where minister's wives can share their most relevant to other ministers' wives blog posts or articles.

Due to the early stages of this, I would love, if you have something that you would like to publish here that, for you to submit it to me at the following address: nancypantslady at gmail dot com. It can be something that you write specifically for this or something that you've written for your own blog. Anything written that you have the personal publication rights to. :^)

To contribute you must be a member of the blogroll and have the blogroll displayed somewhere on your blog. Eventually I may just open it up to be a true multi-contributor blog where you can have immediate access to post to the blog at will. Right now I just want to get a feel for the idea. I will be systematically making my way around to all of your blogs to let you know this is happening.