Fantastic post from Claire Wolfe on saying No:
Unfortunately, we “can’t say no” people usually end up somewhere in the bottom-middle or middle-bottom of whatever field we’re in. Because we don’t allow ourselves the ego-time to dream. To dream, dive fully into things, and work our buns off on our own priorities.
Again, it’s our own doing when we don’t reserve self-time. But how dare all those people keep trying to pull us off our path? To pull us past our very own (repeated) declarations of NO so we can serve their priorities? Why don’t they hear us the first time? Or the second? Or the third? Why do they put us in the position where we’re the bad guys if we don’t go along — again — with what they want?
Oh, but the needs are urgent! The causes profound! (And they often really are; charity being the natural profession for this sort of importuning.) You’re the only one who can do it! Your talents are so vital! And after all, “It’s just this one time …”
But the implication — and this is really weird when you think about it — the implication is that you’re so good (or so irreplaceable or so uniquely talented or such an excellent organizer or such a good guy) that YOU DON’T COUNT.
Then there is this little something else I read this morning (by Randy Alcorn):
We need to neglect doing the things that countless people want us to do, so that we will be available to do what God wants.
And sometimes He speaks in a still small voice, while people speak in a big LOUD voice. We have to make sure we’re listening. To do that, we need to put our ear to His Word and pray and seek His face.
I want to be available to listen to God and follow Him when He gives me those totally unexpected divine appointments.
But if I’m booked so tight there’s no room in my schedule for unanticipated God moments, I’ll miss them, and thereby miss some of life’s greatest joys and opportunities and occasions for gratitude.