You have most likely heard the expression (and probably used it many times), “My plate is too full!” Maybe you used the “full plate” as an excuse to say no to someone recruiting leadership for your industry’s state association. Maybe it was something else. Either way, I think your perspective is off.
Not More Tasks!
First of all, this is not a post about taking on more tasks or duties than you can handle. I am not a proponent of over-scheduling and hoping for the best. That “full plate” behavior is probably one of the most detrimental to a sane quality of life. I promise I am not advocating that at all!
Instead, I want you to think back over the past several months or years. Do you remember any ideas, thoughts, or urges coming to mind that excited you, but as you looked at all you were already trying to do (with not enough success), you decided your plate was too full?
If you took the time to get away and really brainstorm some of these types of ideas, do you think you would come up with any that would just seem too big given your current circumstances? Maybe they would require too much time, energy, or resources?
Can’t See Adding To Full Plate?
Do your dreams sometimes get brushed aside because you are looking at a full plate and cannot see a way to add to it without something else falling off? If you have had these thoughts, then you are not alone. Fortunately, I think I know the problem (and solution!).
As you look over your “full plate” and see it crammed full of stuff (some of it is really good stuff!), you are likely doing some sort of math in your head and quickly determining that your time, energy, and resources (the size of your plate) will barely hold your commitments. Sometimes you even realize you are overdrawn!
Your Plate Is Too Small!
The problem is not that your plate is too full. The problem is that your plate is too small! You heard me, you simply have to get a bigger plate. If you could only snap your fingers and dramatically increase the size of your plate, then you could suddenly be able to handle more. Your dreams could be bigger and your accomplishments could multiply.
If your plate was bigger, your eternal impact could be greater!
See, I told you I knew what the problem was! Aren’t you glad I shared that with you? Now you can run right out and get a bigger plate, right? You might want to try Bed, Bath, and Beyond or even Home Depot or Sam’s Club. Don’t you think they would have them?
Okay, you are right. That is not going to help. So, what is the real problem? And what is the real solution?
You Are The Problem!
The problem is right there in the mirror. You are the problem. You are the problem because you are only considering your own time, energy, and resources when you determine the size of your plate. You have decided that your plate is effectively the same size as the sum of your time, energy, and resources.
That thinking falls short of the truth. Sure, you need to consider your own resources, but there are infinitely more resources available to you if you are just looking for them. And no, these resources cannot be purchased at the local big box retailer.
God Is The Solution!
The solution I am talking about is God. Quite simply, your full plate is too small because you are only considering your own resources and not including those of an all-knowing, all-powerful God.
Assuming your goals and desires are aligned with His will, then the solution to your problem is to begin enlisting God in your efforts. While that seems overly simple, it is the truth.
Instead of assessing a task, strategy, or dream based on your own ability to achieve it, begin asking God if it is what He wants you to do. Forget the fact that you feel like your plate is full. Trust Him to lead you in the direction He wants you to go and watch Him provide the necessary resources to accomplish it.
If you will begin allowing God to inspire your dreams and trusting Him to accomplish them THROUGH you, the size of your plate will grow exponentially! Of course, then you had better buckle up! The ride is about to get wilder than you can even imagine!
The real problem is with the size of our faith. Like I said in an earlier post about “practical atheism,” we don’t often back our talk of faith with a real walk in faith. Too often, we say we believe, but our actions suggest that belief is not strong enough to take us very far.
Reconsider Your Dreams
Take some time and think about your recent (and not-so-recent) dreams. Did you brush them off due to a full plate? If your plate suddenly tripled (or more) in size, would you reconsider those dreams? If so, start praying that God will build your faith in Him to the point where you can accept the plans He has for you!
Has your full plate kept you from following God’s leading?
Do you see how your full plate could simply be too small?
What would you do with a larger plate?