Metal Turtle Sculpture with Shadow

“Someone Else Might Have Gotten It Wrong”

The title of today’s study comes from a quote in a video game, where an alien character named Mordin Solus insists that he has to do things himself.  Sometimes, we’re the same way, though.  We are afraid to give up something in our schedule because we fear that other people won’t fill the gap – they might do it wrong.  (In reality, when I fear this, I’m usually concerned that other people will do it differently than I would, which – I admit – isn’t always the same thing as doing it wrong.)

Sometimes, though, stepping away from a responsibility is necessary not only because we need the break (or “margin”), but also because someone else needs the opportunity to step into that role.  Parents move from caring for an infant’s needs, to teaching their children to feed themselves and tie their own shoes.  Later, teenagers are taught life skills, and are prepared to move into adulthood on their own.  This transition doesn’t minimize the important role of parents, but the process of a parent easing up on direct involvement – even when that means letting a child make small mistakes – is necessary to pass skills from one generation to the next.

Are there things that you are still doing yourself these days, where others might like to have a chance?  Sometimes, another person around you is just waiting to be asked.  Maybe they were hoping for the opportunity to take over for something that is eating up your schedule, but didn’t want to offend you by suggesting it.  I’m convinced that a simple, God-timed invitation can result in life change.

A couple of weeks ago [from when this article was originally written*], our pastor taught from both Exodus 16 (explaining how God provided manna, which came with both blessings and rules), and Exodus 20 (which we usually refer to as the Ten Commandments, including the one about keeping the Sabbath).  In between those two chapters, though, is an interesting story in Exodus 18.  Read Exodus 18:13-27 today, and see how Moses received good advice from his father-in-law, Jethro, and delegated much of his daily routine to other qualified individuals.

If your schedule is always overbooked, or if you have been feeling called to share what you do with others, maybe Jethro’s advice also applies to you.  Ask God for a push in the right direction, and to have your eyes opened to who else God might be preparing to step in and work alongside you.  Someone else might get it wrong; but, then again, they might get it right.

See also other articles about “margin”:

* The original version of this devotion was a Study Guide for the September 29, 2013 message, “Making Necessary Endings”.  That version originally appeared on fcccanton.com, re-used by permission.

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