“Honey, you’ve had a busy day. Come watch the game with me,” suggested my husband.
“In a minute.”
Silently I added, First, I gotta clean the kitchen, wash a load of clothes and finish tomorrow’s report. My promised “minute” evolved into several hours.
Speaker Robert J. Kriegel contends that “gottas” have become the chief reaction for many of us in our bigger-better-faster-more culture. “The Gotta’s can run your life,” writes Kriegel in his book, If It Ain’t Broke . . . Break It!1
I gotta clean the house before company comes. I gotta study my Bible lesson. I gotta get an A on that test. I must start the kids on piano lessons. I should host the neighborhood party. It can become a never-ending cycle of inner demands.
Obviously, you and I need to accomplish certain tasks in order to lead healthy lives (brushing our teeth, showering and eating to name a few.) However, when we let the shoulds and gottas control our lives, we lose our sense of contentment. God isn’t the one who pressures us. He wants us to delight in our life and work—whatever it is at this season. Satisfaction and enjoyment are God’s gifts to us.
Lord, I don’t want to be confined by my “gottas.” Yet, getting rid of the excessive shoulds in my vocabulary isn’t easy. Please help me.
Make It Personal: Name three gottas that could keep you from enjoying this coming week. Now eliminate one of those gottas—just for the next few days. Easy does it.
Adapted from It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life and based on “That everyone may . . . find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.