It’s everywhere we look. Sometimes it’s written on a small sign in the corner of our neighborhood coffee shop: Capacity 50. We barely notice it, we’re usually so engrossed in our Instagram or Facebook feed while waiting for the barista behind the counter to call our name. Our washing machines have it, our cars have it, stadiums have it, airplanes, hard drives, photo albums, DVRs, classrooms, coffee cups. The list could go on and on. Literally everywhere we look we’re surrounded by objects and items, places and spaces that have a posted or known capacity. And we accept it. Yet for some reason, when it comes to ourselves we struggle to acknowledge that we as humans have a maximum capacity. We keep adding and adding to our to-do lists and overwhelming our souls with projects and processes. We joke that we wish there were more hours in a day, the truth of course being that there are only 24. Just as there are only seven days in a week and 365 days in a year (okay Type A’s we know some years have 366, slow your roll). Did you see it? That last sentence is full of capacity indictors. Full of limitations.
I struggle with the idea of capacity a lot. I struggle to say “no” to things. Afraid that saying “no for now”, might effect my chance to say “yes” later down the road. I don’t want to let anyone down, so I say “yes” while my brain begins creating elaborate plans that will allow me to somehow get it all done. And I know I’m not alone. I know that if you’re still reading this, if you right now in this very moment have the capacity to read and absorb these words, you too have probably struggled with accepting that you have limitations. Because that’s really what capacity is.
Capacity is the largest amount that something can contain. It is in essence the limit to what you can hold. The limit to what you can do. The difference is in the objects and places around us the limit is measurable. As people there are few ways to measure our limits. So we often ignore our own capacity in the moment, later reaping results that only further overwhelm and burden us. We spread ourselves thin, paint ourselves into a corner, discover we’re up a creek without a paddle. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to. I want to put a limit on it. A self imposed, that’s enough, stop for right now, limit.
And I just want to breathe. Quiet, small, gentle breaths that aren’t hurried or rushed, because the truth is I’m tired. I’m exhausted with trying to keep up, keep it all together and keep moving forward. There is a capacity to what I can do when I make it about me. When I get caught up in what time or resources I have or don’t, I’m making it about me. I want to stop fighting to increase my capacity for this world and instead focus on making more room in my life for Jesus.
I don’t need more hours in the day or days in the week. I need to prioritize how I fill those hours and days. I am choosing every day to embrace my capacity. It isn’t easy. It takes sticky notes and reminders to keep me on track. But I’m choosing to embrace it. I’m choosing to accept that there is an end to me. In that quiet moment of resolve, when I can count the number of breaths I take I am waiving the white flag. I am choosing to surrender and instead of being overwhelmed by the world, I am overcome with freedom. When I acknowledge my capacity, I am reminded that there is NO capacity, NO limit, NO end to my Father in Heaven. HE is endless, boundless and timeless. And He is for me.
So the next time you feel you are at your capacity and find yourself wondering how to expand, call on Jesus. Surrender to Jesus. Waive the white flag and make more room for Jesus in your life. It is the one place you will find that you will never reach capacity. The more space you make for Him, the more He will fill you up and up and up.
There is an end to me, and that is just the beginning of the story He is writing. The same is true for you.