Or perhaps the better question is, whose hoops are you jumping through?
Even more importantly, what’s the impact of that frenzy of activity on your relationship with God?
There are all kinds of manmade hoops in this world.
They may be related to getting an education, building a career, or another significant goal.
Positive and Negative Hoops
Some hoops serve a positive purpose, like maintaining standards within various contexts—such as healthcare.
I’m sure all the patients I’ve cared for through the years have been grateful for the fact that I had to jump through a lot of educational and training hoops to get my nursing license.
But other hoops might hold us back in some way.
Like the constrictive what-you-must-do hoops that abound within various religions—including some denominational contexts of Christianity.
To me, that’s the most heartbreaking of all.
Because the Bible is clear that Jesus came to free us, not to make us jump through hoops that only serve to suffocate vibrant faith (check out the book of Galatians and you’ll see what I mean).
Or, on a more minor note, the plugin for search engine optimization (SEO) on my website, which I recently removed.
Since I provide content marketing support for a living, it’s really difficult for me to relax best practices when it comes to SEO for my own blog.
No matter how many times I’d tell myself that I should just ignore those little happy or mad faces responding to my SEO score, I just couldn’t do it.
Instead, I’d continually return to jumping through the hoops of the algorithm measuring my use of keywords, subheadings, post length, images, etc. until I received a green smiley face and nearly-perfect score.
It’s one of the reasons I went for nearly three months without publishing a single post to my blog.
I just didn’t have time to jump through all those SEO-induced hoops.
There are plenty of hoops I could list here, but the bottom line is that when they require a lot of time and effort, they can easily impact our relationship with God.
Because there only so many hours in the day.
So do I spend them jumping through hoops to please someone else?
Or do I spend them deepening my relationship with Someone who loves me beyond my wildest imagination?
Who wants to guide me, encourage me, and remind me that I’ll never be alone.
Who has provided me with comprehensive insight into His master plan through 66 books in one—which is mine for the taking, if I will only sit down with Him and read it.
Hoops and Aging
I find that the older I get, the less willing I am to jump through hoops.
You may feel the same.
I’ve certainly jumped through lots of hoops in my life, but frankly, even thinking about twisting myself into a pretzel to meet the expectations of others just doesn’t appeal to me.
Instead, I increasingly prefer a simpler life.
Savoring time with loved ones.
Doing work I enjoy.
Reading a good book.
Using my creative gifts as God directs.
And getting to know Him better each and every day.
How about you?
If you’d like to share, please comment below.