Saying No

I hate saying no to people.  I do it often, but it is not something that comes easily to me.  I play like I don’t care, but I do.  I care about people.  I care about the stories I hear, and I want to do what I can to make people’s stories better.

But there is something else.  I say yes a lot because I am afraid of saying no.  I almost feel like saying no to someone will create friction.  Like the asker will stop liking me because I am limited in time, resources, or desire.  This fear is not a good reason to say yes.  When you say yes to people out of fear, your own insecurity begins to bully you into a life that you don’t control.  You are allowing every person with need to dictate and drive your life.  

I am learning to say no more.  Because when I say no to a boys night, I am saying yes to some chill time with my wife.  When I say no to more ministry, I am saying yes to a dinner table with my children.  When I say no to a concert that will cost me $100, I am saying yes to the dentist.  I am still learning how to say no to the good in order to say yes to the better.  

Now, I do say yes sometimes.  But I don’t want to say yes out of fear.  I don’t want to say yes cause I got bullied into it.  I want to say yes because it is good.  I want to say yes because it lines up with what God has called me to do.  I want to say yes because of love and joy and beauty.  And II want to say yes because of responsibility. 

This is not some big announcement.  Rather, I am just reminding myself of the preciousness of time, the finiteness of energy, and the aloofness of money.  It is a new year, and am looking at my life once again to see what I am saying yes and no to.  I have already canceled three entertainment bills (goodbye Hulu, Flint Journal, and NFL Network).  I am looking at days and nights and travel and debt and asking good questions.  Hard, but good.  

So, happy new year everyone.  Hope you live it well.

-Ernesto Alaniz