Have you ever read the story of the widow and the small jar of oil? You’ll find it at the beginning of 2 Kings 4. A woman whose husband had died, was left to deal with his debt. In that place and time, debt that could not be repaid, was dealt with in human life. The woman was awaiting the debt collector, who was on their way to take her two sons away, as payment. She cried out to Elisha, and his response was to ask her what she had. Her answer… a small amount of oil.
I worry that I’m spreading myself to thin these days. I’m just so busy all the time and my to-do list is endless. There just isn’t enough of me to go around. I worry that I’m not putting my heart and soul in to anything, cos I feel I can’t put it fully into everything. They say you should do 1 or 2 tasks to completion, rather than have 10 tasks on the go, but my life at the moment is not so straightforward. There isn’t much I can put down.
So I’m praying for some oil. Not just any old oil, a portion of oil that looks small and is worth little, but that will last; the way it lasted for the woman in the Bible story. Elisha sent out for jars. As they kept coming the oil kept coming; jar after jar. When there were no more jars, there was no more oil. The amount of oil was not endless, it was enough.
I used to think I needed endless supplies of everything to be happy. Loads of money, loads of time, loads of food, loads of technology, loads of ‘contacts’, loads of people and activity around me all the time. I’m working on changing my mindset and remembering that I just need enough.
At the moment, my severe shortage is time. I’ve been challenged recently by a friend’s use of hers. She is so super organised, and after reading about how she plans her day, I actually felt like half a person for a couple of days. In no way did she set out to make me feel like that. I was intrigued and asked her to tell me more about her daily planning. (You know that thing about being careful what you ask for…) I doubt I’d ever be able to get to where she is, but her system has challenged me to make better use of my time.
As part of that, I’m going to ask God to keep stretching my portion of oil for as long as I have jars to fill it. I DO NOT have enough time to get it all done, so I’m going to need some help while I try to get organised.
I don’t need tons. I just need enough.
I just need what I have to stretch a bit, until the jars stop coming!