My Malibu hit 250,000 miles on Oct 24 at 8:48 am CST. I was driving to work into West Lafayette from Lafayette after a morning dentist appointment.
I remember when I was younger and 100,000 was a big deal. This Malibu has had only two owners, my Grandma and me. It had less than 40,000 miles on it when I bought it from her.
The vast majority of the miles are those traveled the 43.2 miles to work and back every day. The Malibu could almost drive the route all by itself!
I will say, it has been a good car and I have tried to be consistent with oil changes and regular maintenance. I would like to get a new vehicle but I don’t want to deal with a car payment and the Malibu is still holding up okay for now.
Driving all those miles to and from work got me thinking of the many miles we put on our own two feet as we go through life.
What do you make of those miles? Do those miles bring smiles as you engage with other people and share relationship?
How do you ensure you bring value to those around you on your journey through life?
There are many demands on our time and it’s important to know what and what not to commit to. Here are three things I have learned over the miles about making commitments:
1. It’s Okay to Say “No”
You can’t do it all. Even when you might be the best person for the job there are times you just can’t put yourself in a position to sign up for something because something else will than get less of your attention. I recently listened to a podcast by Andy Stanley titled “Choosing to Cheat.” In it he talked about that whenever we commit to something we cheat something else. For example, when commit more to our job, we cheat our family. When we commit more to our family, we cheat our job. The key is to communicate with your family and find the right balance. In one season of life, you will need to make sure you are home earlier where in a later season you can perhaps work later.
When being asked to volunteer for a ministry at church, for instance, think through about what effort that commitment will take before signing on. If you are not interested, don’t feel bad about saying no on the spot but if you are interested, take a few days or weeks to think and pray about it and talk it over with your spouse.
2. Know When to Step Aside
After you have been involved in a particular role for a long period of time, you may come to the realization that it is just time to be done. Perhaps you are simply not able to give your best effort anymore. This happened to me with leading a ministry at my church. I was promoted in my job and, largely because of that, was not able to give the effort to leading the ministry that the ministry deserves. I went to the elder board and gave them many months notice so they had an opportunity to think through about how to proceed.
But it wasn’t just the promotion, there were other factors at play that necessitated my stepping aside. There were other passions I was ready to pursue. Other endeavors I was ready to launch into.
3. Know What you Love to Do
Don’t get trapped into “volunteering” for something that you are not passionate about. No one wins in that situation. You don’t win because you’re stuck doing something you don’t enjoy and those that need you in that position don’t benefit because in all likelihood, they won’t get your “best”. Additionally, they may find themselves looking to again fill the position sooner than they had hoped.
This is why it is important to know and understand yourself well enough to know what you will excel at. Doing what you love and are passionate about will energize you to keep going through the tougher times.
So there you have it!
- Say No
- Know When to Move On
- Know What you Love
What other advice would you add to this list?