Life is full of endless possibilities to do good things.
There are only twenty-four hours in a day.
It's a dilemma, to be sure, and it's an area the Lord has been slowly teaching me in over the last couple years.
I've learned that before saying yes or no to activities and commitments (especially when the calendar is getting fuller) it can be wise to pause and think honestly about my answer. These are some of the questions I ask myself -
Am I saying yes because I'm afraid of missing out?
Am I saying yes because I want to make a point or in some way control how others perceive me?
Am I saying yes because I feel like I have to?
Am I saying yes because everyone else is?
Am I saying no because something is outside my comfort zone?
Am I saying no because I'm feeling tired and stretched thin?
Am I saying no simply because I've never considered it in the past?
Am I afraid of what others will think if I say yes/no?
Is this an opportunity that might come again, or is this my "only chance"?
Will this opportunity interfere with faithfulness in the responsibilities God has already given me?
Is there a pressure, a sense of obligation, like God will be disappointed in me if I don't do this?
These questions give me some clarity and help me evaluate my motives. I want to be intentional with my yeses and nos, not simply default to one or the other. God has given me my life, time, resources, energy, etc., and He wants me to be a good steward of it.
I also believe good stewardship should be framed by our understanding of grace. Sometimes, we might not choose The Single Most Valuable Activity that we could be involved in at given time; there's grace for that. Evaluating decisions and seeking to be intentional doesn't mean that we should imagine God is up in heaven, just waiting to pounce on us if we somehow fall short in these decisions. There might not even be a "best" in every situation; sometimes there are simply a number of equally good things that can all bring God glory, and we have the freedom to say yes to this one, no to that one.
So...I'm learning to pause, to evaluate, and ultimately to trust His Spirit living me as life continues to provide its endless and varied opportunities.