Achieving, the Killer of Delight

2013-06-24 20.59.30

This past week was killer: jam-packed from the early mornings to some late nights with work, grad school homework, small group, conversations, and prepping for our week-long vacation with my family in South Florida. Today, sitting in the Chicago airport, I cannot believe how we managed this busy schedule and didn’t get sick or back out of many commitments–God’s grace sustained us definitely. One of those graces is delight.

Have you ever taken the Strength Finders assessment? Strength Finders is a great tool to identify your strengths in hopes to help you maximize and operate in those strengths (as opposed to focusing your precious energy on your weaknesses). I have taken the assessment 3 times and each time two strengths have remained constant: learner and achiever. If you know me, you immediately know those are some of my biggest strengths. I completely embrace these strengths and try to maximize them constantly. But there’s an inherent problem with constantly applying my strength of Achiever, namely I never am satisfied; I never stop. And we–I–need to stop, to break, to delight.

The night before I had a 4-page paper due, 100 pages left to read for that paper, and needed to finalize some testing and code-writing for a work project with a deadline all this week, I hit my tipping point: either fry my brain and get this all done, or break away and take care of my soul.

There was an intense battle between achieving and delighting within me for15 minutes, which felt like 15 hours of feverish sleep. Then I realized: my drive to achieve and get my checklist done is killing my need to stop, to take joy in the journey, to nurture my soul, to delight myself in God in order to remain connected to his work remaining for the rest of the week.

I did the unthinkable. I put everything away. I turned everything off. I chose to delight myself in where I find God. I refreshed my heart, mind, and body rather than complete my tasks.

It was the best decision I made.

I laced up my Asics and went for a run, unplugged and I saw the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen all summer.

I read a new book I just received from the library on my hero, C.S. Lewis.

I sat on our balcony and watched the clouds cover the massive skies with their majestic forms while sipping iced tea.

I listened to my favorite album ever: Illuminate.

Why didn’t I understand this before? I asked myself. Achieving was killing my delight in the journey. Achieving was threatening my identity in Christ.

I encourage you to take a break from achieving and spend that time to delight in God. Take joy in your journey. There’s no better use of your time! Share some of the things where you are able to delight in God below, and share some tips that you find helpful in maintaining a balance between doing and being.

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