Well, I’m most definitely back from vacation. In just the first day of being back, the demands of life showed me very little mercy; including the needs of my sweet little dog Bella who refused to let me adjust to the time difference at my own pace. Nice.
I had to unpack. I had laundry to do. I had groceries to buy. I had e-mails to attend to. I had prescriptions to fill and a ton of mail to sort through. I had, I had, I had…
I think I hate that word. But the reality is, that’s just life. Life is full of “have-to’s;” they’re to be expected. And the truth is, those kinds of demands really aren’t all that bad. In fact, in a strange way, they can actually be cathartic at times – especially after coming back from a long vacation.
It’s the other kind of “have-to’s” that suck the life right out of me. That kill my peace. And steal my joy.
They are choices disguised as “have-to’s;” imposters that insist I comply or else be condemned. They are demands that don’t come from the outside world but from a much more intimate and secret place. They come from within.
The external demands of my outer world pale in comparison to the internal demands that I place on my own self.
Sometimes they’re big demands. Sometimes they’re little. But always, they’re false…
- demands that I read my Bible every day. (And reading my “daily Scripture” app doesn’t count.)
- demands that I regularly perform to a certain standard like, for example, the unnecessary pressure I put on myself to post my blog at least once a week because the “industry” says I have to be consistent.
- demands that I don’t confront issues because I’m supposed to just “let it go.”
- demands that I get an “A” in every class – even though I am simply going to school for my own fulfillment.
- demands that I’m always full of faith.
As a Christ follower, I know we also have an enemy who delights in baiting us with false demands – knowing exactly which ones we are each more likely to “bite.” And sometimes even well-meaning people in our lives place unfair expectations on us. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter where the source comes from because either way, we always have the choice to either surrender to these false expectations or deny them power and expose them for what they are.
I began denying some false demands over my vacation. For one, I decided to put my blog on hold until I got back. Since my return, I’ve begun to identify a few other false demands I’ve been unknowingly operating out of and have already started to experience incredible amounts of freedom in letting those go as well.
My prayer is that if you, too, happen to be one of those people who struggle with false demands – choices disguised as “have-to’s – that God will reveal those to you and you will begin to experience great freedom as you let each and every one of them go!