The word and concept “Striving” has recently been on my radar quite a bit. It’s shown up in different conversations, readings, and situations enough that it seems to have my full attention. I recognize that I have a tendency to live a life of “Striving.” The kind of life where you are constantly doing something, constantly pushing for that next big thing, constantly focused on what’s out in front of you, and constantly working your fingers to the bone. I’m certain I am not alone in this reality. As a matter of fact, David, King of Israel, actually wrote about it also. He said,
If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?
We spend so much time striving at our own life’s agendas, visions, and plans. We spend far too much time “working our worried fingers to the bone.” I am finding that sometimes the best work we can do is to rest. I’m convinced, even though I don’t always live it, that God created us for more than a life of striving.
Why is it that I think my feeble efforts, outside of God’s plan, are going to make any difference? Why do I spin myself into “problem-solving” mode and strive for solutions? If God is the architect of this life I live, doesn’t it make sense to wait for Him to provide the solutions? If God is the builder of my future, doesn’t it make sense to follow Him? And yet, I find myself running ahead with ideas, plans, and agendas of my own and working my fingers to the bone to make them a reality.
I’m ready to do the work I am intended to do and stop working my worried fingers to the bone through my striving efforts. As I look into the face of 2012, one area of transformation I desire is to live a more balanced life with less striving. A life that boldly and confidently follows God’s design for my life and future. A life that is free of striving and full of surrender.