People Over Projects

Allow me to preach to myself for a few moments.  You are invited to listen if you like.

Our culture is absolutely sick with an addiction to busy-ness and I am the first one that needs to sign up for rehab.  Admittedly, I tend to work too much, take on too many tasks, and sometimes have to pry myself away from sermon notes, books, or a computer screen so that I can exercise, relax, or enjoy a meal with a friend.  I constantly strive to find harmony within my own soul: I have a creative and driven personality that likes to get things done, yet I need still and quiet time for reflection and spiritual rejuvenation.

So every morning, sometimes before 4 AM (I was awake at 2:30 today) I make a list of the projects I would like to accomplish before I retire to bed that evening.  And as the day progresses, I feel good if I can scratch items off that list.  If I get stuck on one or bogged down, I find myself feeling anxious; not because it’s a really essential task, but because my progress has been impeded.  If it looks like the list may not get completed by bed time, I have real issue on my hands.  My mind begins to race and I lay in bed constructing the list for the next day.  Some of this is my personality and some of this is sin.

Here is where I need to preach to myself.  My identity is NOT wrapped up in what I do.  My accomplishments are NOT equal to my worth as a person.  I am NOT valuable as a minister because God knows I can get the job done like a corporate hatchet man.  And it is just plain SINFUL for me to get worked up and tense because I only marked 8 things off my 11-item to-do list for the day.

Do not succumb to the tyranny of our day.  Fight it tooth and nail!  Wage war on the crippling mindset that says “you matter because you know how to get things done.”  Don’t replace genuine relationships with people with projects.  Projects are cold, impersonal, and ultimately forgettable.  Who among us can remember an all-consuming to-do list from April of 2003?

Yet the people that we love are flesh and blood, emotions and spirit, and they need us as much as we need them.  We risk our very souls when we NEVER connect with our brothers and sisters, sacrificing genuine friendships on the altar of efficiency and industry.

So make your list.  Get to work on it.  Do it with diligence and excellence.  But put people first.  Jesus did.  They are more important than projects.

Learn more about Clayton's newest book Stronger here.