Nibbled to Death by Guppies

Have you ever felt nibbled to death by a school of guppies? After a quiet Christmas break, all that had been put aside for the holidays swarmed upon me. Thankfully, this has not been a shark attack, just many diverse areas vying for my attention.

Pulled in a dozen different directions at once, I’ve struggled to focus on what I was doing. Two thoughts have helped me navigate through the discordance. First, “I only have to do today what my heavenly Father wants me to do today.” That thought has been my north star. Each day I ask the Lord, what needs to be done today? Usually one or two things crystallize in my mind. I think through my list and smile. Those are exactly the things for this day.

When the gray shadows of looming deadlines creep across my mind, I remind myself, “Today I am taking care of today’s business.” Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34 NASB). If I am doing my Father’s will, I may get tired, but I’ll also be nourished.

That leads to the second principle. “Be mentally engaged where I am physically involved.” I have a bad habit of being one place while my mind is somewhere else. It helps to tell myself, “I’m doing this now. I’ll focus on that when it’s time.”

Jesus said it this way, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:33-34).

Chances are you too have seasons or days when you feel pulled in opposite directions—or nibbled to death by guppies. You may even have a few sharks. Try asking God what He would have you do today. Asking, is seeking His kingdom first. Then fully engage in that. Refuse to allow worry over what’s left to be done, to eat you alive.

Seeking God’s will for my day keeps guppies from growing into sharks. It might also turn a few sharks into guppies.


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  1. Diane Allen

    Just what I needed to hear. I find that my to-do list is never completed. My hours available are often filled with “less important urgencies” or the adrenoline stimulating “really important urgancies”. I too have been striving to find that balance. I’ve lived my life at this pace for so long that I feel lazy when I’m not rushing around physically. As a result, I’m always rushing around mentally even when I try to slow the pace. I have tried this week to focus on Ann VosKamp’s words: Life is not an emergency.The fast have spiritually slow hearts. The slower the living, the greater the sense of fullness and satisfaction.

    I’m not there yet for sure. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • debwilson

      Thanks for sharing. I was not familiar with Ann VosKamp’s quote, but it echos what the Lord says to me. But like you, it is a process to get there.

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