“I’ve got it all together. I just don’t know where I put it!” We laughed at our guest speaker’s opening line. I laughed so I wouldn’t cry. My To Do list rolled on and on like the credits at the end of Gone With the Wind.
Someone suggested I let go of one or two obligations. I balked. After all, I was doing what I was called or asked to do, wasn’t I? And the activities brought rewards — self-satisfaction, value recognition, and accolades when the job was well-done.
So I held on.
Until one evening when I collapsed on the couch after a grueling 12-hour day. The words of a mentor bubbled to the surface of my semi-conscious brain, “It doesn’t have to be this way. If you want to multiply your power, give it away.”
The shoulders of Moses drooped, too. He sighed after another day of hearing disputes from longer lines of people than those queued on opening day of the last Harry Potter movie.
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, wagged a bony finger at Moses and said, “This is not good! You’re going to wear yourself out. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle by yourself.”
Jethro advised his son-in-law, “Delegate. Select some honest and capable people who fear God. Teach them what they need to know about God’s way. Show them how to apply it. Then let them handle the simple cases, and you act as consultant with the more difficult situations. If you follow this advice,” Jethro concluded, “you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace” (Exodus 18:14-23 NLT).
Good advice. So, I pried my fingers loose from some responsibilities and found trustworthy individuals to assume them. Something amazing happened. I discovered what Moses probably discovered.
The world didn’t fall apart because I didn’t hold it together. In fact, letting go re-energized me and my desires to make a difference. I found freed-up time to stretch in new ways. All because I let go of control and the pride that came with leading the way and past accomplishment.
Yet, best of all, delegates took my pet projects to new heights of excellence and innovation that my tired brain never imagined. Power multiplied, just as my mentor predicted. Even as Jesus promised His disciples when He passed His ministry’s baton to them. He said,
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” (John 14:12, NIV).
What’s been your experience when you gave away or shared your power? Is there any other advice you suggest for the over-committed who can’t let go?
©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.