Keeping It Simple: Responsibility
The topic I wanted to write about the least about was responsibilities…so today’s topic is responsibilities. Just because I want to shy away from something important, does not mean I get to abandon what I said I would do. And honestly, that’s the great takeaway from this entire post. I gave away the ending really early this time, but let’s keep rocking!
When my brother and I were younger, we loved this cartoon called “Rugrats.” If you’re familiar with this show, you know exactly which episode I am about to reference. If you have never seen this show, it is a cartoon centered around a group of babies (and a couple of toddlers) who explore and converse about life all from a small child’s perspective. Quietly, Rugrats is still great television to me and do not be surprised if you ever find me indulging. But back to the topic…
In one particular episode, Angelic (the oldest of the baby brigade) was having a hard time with the idea of getting older because she found out age brings more responsibilities (that’s an entire message right there). But while she was explaining to the younger crew why she could no longer be excited about childhood things, she dropped this gem of a quote on us…
“I have responsibilities now, that means I’m not allowed to have fun anymore for the rest of my life.” -Angelic Pickles, 4-years-old
Now, you can watch the clip here to figure out for yourself how old she really was in this episode, but was that line not a dagger?? And I don’t know about you, but sometimes the idea of responsibility is equated to sucking the fun out of life (in my mind). But I think it’s time that we challenge how we arrived at that conclusion. At what point did responsibility become the same as anti-fun?! I have a theory!
I believe some responsibilities often feel like joy-crushing burdens (dramatic but impactful wording) because we don’t feel like we’re in charge or have actual ownership in the process. Sometimes things seem like they’re happening to us, instead of happening with us. And I don’t surmise that anyone enjoys the idea of being pulled along in anything.
Now, responsibilities are real and we will have them for the entirety of our lives. So, this isn’t a post that ends with “do what makes you happy.” Nah, that’s not it either because happy is a very fleeting and fickle feeling. And last time I checked, feeling temporarily happy didn’t pay bills or feed children. However, we can challenge ourselves to: 1) assess which responsibilities we need to keep and which to let go and 2) reimagine what responsibility means in our lives.
There truly isn’t a magic antidote here. Feeling less burdened by responsibility will take us letting go of some auxiliary activities, so we can be present with our primary roles. This is where we get really honest with ourselves and start separating what “God brought us to” from what “we brought to ourselves”…the latter won’t make it to the next step. Then we have to (consistently) remind ourselves that we are privileged to be a part of God’s plan. That sounds super spiritual, but it’s not wrong. Remember, we’re not saddled with (appropriate) responsibility, we are honored to be trusted with the responsibility.
Yes, we will have responsibilities. No, they don’t have to suck.
1. List your responsibilities in life.
2. Which do you believe are from God? Which do you believe you created?
3. How can you see your responsibilities from God more positively?
For each person will have to carry his own load.
Galatians 6:5 HCSB
We pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 GNT
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.
Romans 14:12 NLT
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Colossians 3:23 NLT