Sometimes less is more

August 7th, 2008

About 20 odd years ago I started doing weights. Like most teenagers I started because I wanted big rock hard muscles to show off. This is a very different reason to why I do them now in my early 40s I must say!

When I started I would do them every day religiously. I would try to increase the weights so I would get stronger and bigger. Every week I would weigh myself and measure my muscles proudly in front of the mirror. After about six months I was a lot more toned, but had no more weight and muscle size. Hmmm something was wrong I reasoned and I trained harder.

Then one day I read a book by a guy who said that your muscles grow when you rest and recover from the weight sessions. He suggested that I only do weights 2 or 3 times per week and get plenty of rest in between. Reluctantly I tried his suggestion. Guess what, hey presto, bigger muscles started to appear out of nowhere. It is funny that I had to learn to do less and rest more to grow and move forward. Rest in between helped me to be more effective in my weight training.

It is funny how over the years I have forgotten this lesson and how it applies to many of the things we are involved in. I have found that in church and ministry sometimes less is more too. If I am out doing church things everyday. I get tired, burnt out and I enjoy it less. I also become less effective in the ministry tasks I perform. I find if I do too much I feel jaded very easily. However, if I take on less and do only the things I feel strongly about doing and called to do, I am much more energised and I am much more effective.

How about you? Are you someone who paces yourself or are you someone who is busy doing lots of things? Are you energised by your involvements or are you tired and drained most of the time? Can you keep up all of your involvements or have you got some things you could cut back on?

Sometimes less is more in weights, in life and in ministry.