Who doesn't love a restaurant known for an amazing buffet?
There are hot food stations, salad bars, bread baskets, soup tureen and then there is the dessert bar that ends with twenty toppings for soft-serve ice cream. Seriously, what is not to love about that!
If that wasn't enough...you can have one plate or you can have six plates! Consider for just one moment, how you feel when you walk into the restaurant...and then how you feel when you leave.
"I could not eat one more bite."
"I feel sick!"
Our lives are similar to this buffet; we have so many choices available to us and we only have so much capacity to take it all in! We find it hard to say 'no' when SO many choices look amazing. In a sense, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we pile too much on our plates.
Have you ever made this statement, "I cannot possibly handle ONE MORE THING! I need the world to stop for a moment!"
I love how God speaks to me in very practical ways!
Let me share with your some simple lessons...from the Buffet of Life.
Luke 14:28-30 (TPT)
28 So don’t follow me without considering what it will cost you. For who would construct a house before first sitting down to estimate the cost to complete it?29 Otherwise he may lay the foundation and not be able to finish. The neighbors will ridicule him, saying, 30 ‘Look at him! He started to build but couldn’t complete it!’
Count the Cost Before You Build Your Plate
Stop and consider what your goal is in the restaurant; how would I like to feel when I leave? How will what I eat now affect how I will feel in a few hours? How will my choices impact my overall health goals with weight management?
The life lesson is simple-I have a goal of modeling my life after how Jesus lived.
John 5:19 TPT
19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. The Son is not able to do anything from himself or through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.
Jesus had a goal of only doing, only saying what the Father told Him to do/say.
Picture yourself standing with the clean plate at the start of the buffet with Jesus right next to you. Survey all the choices before you and then, listening as you go, only place the foods (and the amount) on your plate that Jesus tells you to choose.
In life, you have so many wonderful activities and relationships to pick from and what a blessing that is! However,
you have limited time, emotional capacity, resources and limited physical strength in order to manage your commitments.
Here's the bottom line: you cannot do it all.
"For who would construct a house before first sitting down to estimate the cost to complete it?
Sometimes life costs you more than you budgeted for.
(Sometimes the applesauce is runnier than you like and it spreads out into your bread...ruining the bread!)
Have you ever heard about keeping some "margin" in your life?
Margin is that extra space between foods...between activities that allow for the unexpected to arise.
Margin helps to maintain your peace and your joy.
Margin might look like the following:
*allowing a buffer of time in between activities in case something runs long
*taking the extra time to gas the car up before the next day's trip
*gathering your supplies the night before a big meeting
*physically blocking time in your calendar for what often gets bumped-like sleep, exercise, time with the Lord
Do Fewer Things But Do Them With Excellence
"Otherwise he may lay the foundation and not be able to finish."
I find that when I really check out the whole buffet and count the costs before I make my selections, I enjoy my meal so much more. I get to enjoy my favorite selections and I leave the restaurant with such a sense of satisfaction of having had a great meal.
A builder who does not count the costs first may find that he/she is unable to finish the project because they have run out of resources.
There is a tremendous cost to being overcommitted or stretched too thin (too much on your plate)
*food falls off your plate (you forget important details, letting others down)
*your work is sub-par because you cannot invest the time/effort needed to do it with excellence
*you lack peace
*you are always rushing
*you find that others annoy you more (especially ones that ask for help or try to pile more on you)
*your relationship with God gets buried under...the mashed potatoes
*sleeping becomes restless (ever notice how you don't sleep well after gorging yourself at a buffet?)
Other Are Watching How You Manage Your Plate!
"The neighbors will ridicule him, saying, 30 ‘Look at him! He started to build but couldn’t complete it!’"
I will admit it, I study folks as they walk through a buffet line. I admire folks who take their time, who are selective, who leave white space on their plates...and who don't look like weight struggles are an issue for them. I have battled my own weight issues over the years and so, I get it, a buffet is a hard place to visit.
Others are watching how you fill your plate of life. Especially if they know you are a follower of Jesus,
what are they seeing in you?
Are you peaceful and able to enjoy the presence of the one sitting in front of you or are you always watching the clock because you need to rush off soon?
Do you have the reputation for excellence as you fulfill your responsibilities?
Are you dependable? Are you able to keep your commitments?
You Are Not Alone! The Holy Spirit Will Help You!
Let me encourage you today; the Holy Spirit, who lives within you the believer, will help you navigate the buffet of life.
Every decision you need to make about what to add to your plate of life is a spiritual decision.
Ask Him for direction.
"Father, is this something that YOU want me to say yes to?"
He will speak to you if you will stop and ask for help...and then stay put long enough to listen:)