Do What You Can and Don’t Do What You Can’t

The other day Adam and I were getting ready to go workout and Adam said, “I’m just gonna do what I can and not do what I can’t.”

We both laughed at that very simple yet true statement. Adam has a bulging disk in his lower back that he is trying not to aggravate yet at the same time stay active. He knows the exercises that enflame the area, so as best he can, he doesn’t do those. I admire how Adam quickly summed up the situation, then at workout did what he could to the best of his ability.

I on the other hand, struggle with the should-haves and the should-bes:

I should be able to do that even though I have a bulging disk in my back.

I should be able to run a 15K as fast as her!

I should have said more to encourage that girl I talked to at Brookshires.

I should have known this would happen and done something different!

My mind rolls the scenes over and over in my head like a football coach looking at film. I strategize what I should do next time I see that play called.

The word abandon stuck out to me the other day in the Utmost devotional. Something that just dawned on me is abandonment is focused more on the Source than the result. In fact, abandonment doesn’t really care about the end result or the consequences (good or bad), or what the people around think of the situation at all. If abandonment cared about these things, it wouldn’t really be abandonment.

Abandonment is something I desire, yet I am amazed at how results oriented I am. I am more focused on how something looks in the end than what sparked the beginning. I like to know I’m being productive, efficient and killing the goal.

When I run a 15K race, those stats are easy to see and measure – along with everyone else’s who ran the race. But in my Christian walk, God doesn’t always show me those kinds of results.

It’s in those times when I don’t know the results that I have to stay focused on the Source, Jesus, and stop analyzing the fruit!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone at church but didn’t feel like they were really listening? They were trying to, but kept looking over and around you, seeing who just walked in and wanting to go talk with them?

That’s how I am with this concept of abandon. It’s like I’m talking to Jesus in a crowd of 100 people, and I’m trying to maintain eye contact with Him, but I keep getting distracted with all the noise and tidbits of conversation around me. (results!) I hear Him talking but I’m constantly looking over His shoulder to see who just walked in.

A famous passage for abandonment is when Mary interrupts Jesus’ dinner party with Simon the Leper, breaks a bottle of expensive perfume then uses it to anoint Jesus’ head. The people around her scoffed and condemned her, saying how the perfume should have been used. But Jesus answers them with comforting words to me: “Leave her alone….she did what she could.” Mark 14:6, 8

That’s what I need to tell my mind! Leave me alone! I have done what I could. Trust Jesus for the rest!

God doesn’t ask or expect me to steward time, talents or resources He hasn’t given me. He is pleased when I run as fast as I can, even if someone is faster. He is pleased when use my gifts in special, unique ways, even when they don’t look as pretty or gain as much attention as someone else’s. God is pleased when I spend the time I have well, even when it looks like it’s not enough.

The bottom line of what I’m learning is Jesus is pleased when I am abandoned to Him. He just asks me to do what I can and leave the results to Him! Someday I’ll get it!


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