Stop Saying Yes To Everything

This past weekend I witnessed 2 very close friends step into marriage with one another. 

It was such a sweet experience seeing 2 friends I've spent so much time with over the years commit to spending the rest of their lives together. Marriage is the most remarkable thing I've ever been able to walk into and being able to do it as newlyweds with close friends is incredibly special. 

Before the wedding, though, my wife and I were invited to the rehearsal dinner. We had the privilege to sit around tables with new and old friends and hear how the happy couple had influenced, contributed to, and impacted each attendant's life. There were laughs and tears and embarrassing revelations, but a statement by the bride's father is what impacted me the most.

"It is very obvious that my daughter is a worthwhile friend." 

The bride's father went on to brag about how proud he was of the things his daughter had done and how well she lived her life and how beautiful she was and how honorably she went about choosing the man she was hours away from marrying. And while those things were true, to hear a father pay attention to and celebrate the community of friends around his daughter was beautiful.

To him (and all of us in the room), she was not just any old friend. She was not a good friend; or even a best friend...it was obvious that she is a worthwhile friend.

worth • while - adjective - worth the time, money, or effort spent; of great value or importance 

In today's society there are so many things aching for our yes's. From ads on social media, emails with time stamps, and dinging notifications to friends who need friends, lives that need living, and chores that have to get done - our "yes tanks" only remain full for so long. Yes's are fleeting and seemingly easy to say, yet with them comes commitment and clarity, responsibility and sacrifice, honesty and focus. When we say yes to one thing, we must be saying no to something else. So when we say yes, we are giving up our time, money, effort, resources, wisdom, energy, and bits of who we are to the thing or the job or the experience or the person we are saying yes to. Our yes's are valuable.

And here, in this moment with the father of the bride, I was reminded of how worthwhile my moments with these 2 friends had been. Each laugh and tear and text and adventure and story was a worthwhile experience that benefitted me and all those involved. The yes's I gave to these 2 souls were meaningful and deep and very much worthwhile.

Yet so often I get caught up in the expectations and the comparisons around me. I feel obligated to give out my yes's like they're business cards. I mistake an opportunity for an obligation and somewhere along the way I'm left with no yes's for the people and the stories I value and need the most.

In the chaos of life, the worthwhile is replaced by the urgent. 

We've allowed the immediate to become the ultimate. We hand out our yes's to tv shows and social posts and things that take something from us. We say yes to urgent things and in return we miss out on the worthwhile adventures and the worthwhile stories and the worthwhile opportunities and the worthwhile friendships.

Why do we hand out yes's as if they don't cost us pieces of who we are?

Our yes's are valuable, friends. And they don't have to dictate our moods or our feelings or our schedules or our relationships. Our yes's should be saved for the moments and the people in life who help us move toward becoming who we were created to be. 

You were created to be worthwhile.

Are the people and moments we say yes to worth the cost involved?