“No, that won’t be necessary.”
“No, really – it’s fine. It’s fine.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
Have you ever said these things after someone is kind to you? I have. I can hear myself even now . . .
Today, I got a note in the mail. It was from a woman I admire.
She wrote me, thanking me for spending time on something that is important to both of us. She took pains to take out monogrammed stationary, hand-write her gratitude and encouragement, place it in an envelope, apply a stamp and place the note in the mail box.
All of this effort to say thank you for coming to her house for a couple hours on a Monday evening.
It was completely unnecessary. I was glad to have done it. I loved being there. I learned new things about people I enjoy spending time with and had all I could drink bottled water at my fingertips. It was special, it was encouraging – but it was nothing. Not a burden – not an imposition.
It might have stayed nothing – if it weren’t for the note.
Maybe you live your life like I do – almost irrevocably busy. One thing to the next. I have my marriage, my kids, my job, my church, my people. It seems like most of the time someone or something I love gets missed because all the other people and things I love usurp me. I often feel reduced to only what I MUST do.
There is wisdom in not taking on things you need not do. Andy Stanley says it this way: “Only do what only you can do.” This is vital wisdom in determining what to take on and when. Only I can be wife to my husband. Only I can be mother to my kids. I only get one shot there.
With young kids and a busy life, I sometimes feel like there is little room for anything that can be deemed unnecessary. In fact, I often pride myself on removing the unnecessary from my life. I’m acting with wisdom, right?
There are unnecessary meetings, unnecessary conversations, and even unnecessary relationships. I feel so accomplished when I can narrow my scope to only the things that apply specifically to today.
And then, I get a note in the mail.
I think to myself, this was so unnecessary. And I’m so thankful.
I occurs to me that some of the very best things in life are unnecessary.
A good book on a rainy afternoon . . . a fire in the fireplace . . . coffee with a friend . . . gifts . . . seeing the sun rise . . . face to face conversation when you could text . . . marshmallows in your hot cocoa . . . forgiveness . . .
I want to do more unnecessary things. Deep down, these are the things which give me the most joy.
I want to encourage others when I don’t have to – listen when it doesn’t suit me – give without expectation – make phone calls and visits – serve wholeheartedly – and always dance, especially when there is no music.
This is the example of my friend who wrote me the note – and this is the example of my Savior.
We do not believe in a God of only the necessary. What a drab and dreary world that would be . . .
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8
It is completely unnecessary that I be freed from the brokenness that once claimed me – I cannot fathom the cost – It is completely unnecessary for God to choose me, love me and rescue me in spite of my failings . . .
It is completely unnecessary, and it is my greatest joy.
I am thankful there is so much more to life than what we MUST do – we get to live freely and love deeply as we are deeply loved.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some notes to write.