“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
But not too much...
I am blessed with the ability to build/fix almost anything mechanical but not digital. Several years ago, I became “burned out” from over-extending myself helping different people or organizations constantly. I had no margin. One day, I had enough, and I stopped cold turkey by telling everyone who asked for help “No” or “I don’t have time.”
Two Wrong Answers
Overextending as well as saying no all the time were not following God’s will.
First, by spending so much time helping others, I neglected my family. My wife and children were “dying” for my attention, but I was always out “helping” others.
Second, by denying requests for assistance, I neglected to serve others and use the talents given to me by the Master for His glory.
Balance is the Key
Finding the proper balance came much easier after MD5 and understanding my role as a husband, father and servant.
I included the following in my life plan:
Spending 2 weekends a month unplugged at our semi-remote mountain hideout (our family cabin). This has been some of the most rewarding and family bonding time. My children actually look forward to being outside now. I am currently reading the 19th book of my 30 book-a-year goal, most of them during these weekend trips.
Make my talents available to anyone in need, free of charge (fixing broken appliances, building things, lifting heavy stuff) 1-2 times a month. This year I have fixed HVAC units, repaired plumbing at a friend’s house and committed to building a handicap ramp for a neighbor.
Keeping to this plan has worked well. My wife loves when I plan to relax in the hammock with her. My kids think I can win season 9 of Alone because I taught them how to catch crawfish on hotdogs. Satisfaction comes from using my abilities to serve others while still maintaining intentional time for my family knowing I am following God’s will for my life.
By learning to “budget” time, I have found the balance that allows me the margin to enjoy life with my family, yet feel fulfilled by acts of service.