Monday, November 25, 2013

Time is (back) on my side

"Life can get so complicated. All I could ever manage was twenty four hours in a day. I believe I'd have lost my mind if I went on worrying about the minutes..." 
-The Rain Catchers, Jean Thesman

I am one of those people who likes to fill in all of my time.

I love the feeling of accomplishment I have when I get things done. I sleep better when I go to bed at night knowing that my checklist is fully filled in. That I have left no stone unturned. It doesn't necessarily make me happy, but I feel pretty good about being on track. I get a little crazy about it, actually.

And I get very frustrated when my schedule doesn't fall into place.

We don't like to think about things we haven't done. We measure our days in terms of productivity and accomplishment: "What did I get done today? How does it fit into my grand plan for life? Did I move towards the goals I think I need to have?" We get worked up when the answers to these simple questions seem uncertain. Or when they feel like negatives. Sometimes even sleep or food or other daily obligations can seem to be obstacles in getting to the end. I mean, even God rested, but sometimes I just have to get whatever-this-is finished.

The problem with this deep seeded disappointment is what we miss when we are busy obsessing about all the things we haven't done. Like the blessings each day bring. Or the wonder that is the distractions that stopped us from getting on with our plans in the first place. It's true, sometimes they are nothing more than too much time relaxing, or playing games, or even just giving in to pure exhaustion. But even those things can be just what we need when life gets busy.

Last week was rough for me. I had a lot I needed to work on waiting for me. Blog by wednesday, get my lesson plans done by saturday, start my new testament reading plan, finish the book on Job I've been reading, design business cards, get back to the four-days-at-the-gym routine... there were more, but I think you get the idea. A million goals.

Not one accomplished.

But upon reflection, last week was not a waste of time at all. No, I didn't finish my book on Job, but I did finish a fiction novel that gave me some perspective I was missing. I didn't get to the gym enough, but I had an awesome time of bonding with a close friend. My lesson plans didn't get finished, but I gained some real life experience that will do more for my writing style than even writing ever would. There was so much good that came out of my life last week... and instead of enjoying it, I was busy falling into the stress of the lie that my own plan was the only way to go. I needed to be reminded that my plan wasn't even the important one. God's was.

And last week fell right into His design.

This new week has begun, and I have to tell you, it's only Monday, and I am well on my way to getting done everything I missed last week, plus the list that I have for this one. But I am thankful for the healthy reminder that ultimately, the grand scheme is out of my hands. I talk about wanting to be all that God wants me to be, and only what He wants me to be, and it reminds me that I have to get in line with His will 100%. That may include giving up things that have shaped my view of what my life needs to look like. But so be it- when we fully commit, we sign that deal.

Thankfully, God doesn't waste time. He doesn't have hours in a day that are uncounted for. He doesn't take a few minutes to "rest His eyes". He doesn't hide away when the moments get overwhelming; actually, He doesn't even get overwhelmed with His to do list. And He has a lot to be accountable for. But every moment is considered by God.

And He does it all without an administrative assistant.

From now on, I want to measure my moments only in God's time. I want to be reminded that everything we do has a purpose and a path. The only way to waste time is to mourn over it, and to fight against it. All the moments we are given are a gift.

I won't squander it by stressing over it anymore.

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