An email notification popped across the top of my phone: "In need of spotlight operators." My heart spread its wings in my chest. The school needed people to help with the musical. It would be an opportunity to be backstage again. Electricity surged through me as I considered responding to the email and telling them about my experience running a spotlight.

Surely they would take me over someone with no history, even if my history was only running a spotlight once. I had been a stage manager and assistant stage manager countless times—enough to make up for my lack of spotlight work. Besides, they said no experience was needed, so I'm sure my experience around theater was enough.

Instantly, like dragging a ship’s anchor from the sea, my mind pulled up the list of my responsibilities for this semester.  I longed to be involved in theater again, not to be under the spotlight but to be the one shining the spotlight on someone else. Yet the dictatorship of my schedule told me otherwise. I'm not a fan of that annoying dictator. He can be a bully.

Despite knowing what was wisest, a mental duel broke out. The non-wise option always sounds like more fun, but wisdom always fights with everything it has. Two sides battled it out. Wisdom suggested that I couldn't take on anything else. My desire said I missed theater, life is short, and I should enjoy my time in college. After all, I am often over-obsessed with grades. Wouldn't this be a good thing to change my focus?

The problem is, I've lived with myself long enough to know I have the terrible trait of saying yes to too many things. It always ends the same, with me frazzled, overwhelmed, burnt out, and running solely on caffeine.

The clash of swords echoed off the walls of my skull as I walked around campus. Desire's blade rang out as it struck wisdom's. Sometimes I thought wisdom would win; other times, I thought desire had fought the more vigorous battle. Both sides gave the battle their all, but there could only be one winner.

As a concept, going for it sounded like the more enjoyable idea. That all changed under the looming shadow of tech week. Tech week would be impossible to balance with my already teetering life. If I added one more thing, it would send everything crashing down. I figured I could probably muster enough brute strength to trudge through everything, but I wouldn't be able to do anything well.

Therein lay the problem. Wisdom dealt a crippling blow to desire. Ephesians 5:15 smacked my brain: "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." I'm supposed to be stewarding my time. I didn't even have to ask myself which option was using my time the best. I knew the answer, even if I preferred to ignore it. I sighed, realizing that stewardship often required saying no in order to create the capability to do things excellently instead of mediocrely.

Despite this realization, it didn't end the duel. Desire may have been wounded, but it wasn't dead. That afternoon I brought the opportunity up to my mom. I was hoping she would tell me to take the job.

"The school sent out an email that they need spotlight operators," I said, "and I am so tempted to do it."

I launched into describing all the factors at play. She listened quietly as I rambled on, switching back and forth between how much I missed being involved in theater and how busy I would be this semester.

I was reciting assignments I had and how being a spotlight operator seemed doable (ish) when suddenly wisdom dealt a fatal blow.

"Oh, snap! I forgot. I have a writing piece due next Friday," I said. My mom smiled and, in her sage way, said,

"I think you just found your answer."

She was right. I had no capacity for taking on another thing. If I took on spotlight operator, my schedule would break under all the weight, like a teacup supporting the weight of a rhinoceros. I sighed. I had known the answer all along—I just didn't want to admit it, but once someone else confirmed it, I couldn't sweep it under the rug.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." Wisdom pulled its blade out of desire's chest, and desire fell to the ground of the battlefield. Wisdom stood victorious.