One of the things that keeps me (or my thoughts at least) far from God is my schedule. I am a wife, a mother of 3, and I hold 2 part time jobs. I own a house with my husband. I am involved in my church. Sometimes all these things stack up nicely and make for a manageable schedule. Most of the time, 3 or 4 things hit at once and make it seem impossible to get everything done, let alone find time for God or for the things God wants me to be doing with my time. Finding myself in a time crunch is probably the thing that hinders my relationship with God the most.
Today is one of those days. I have marking period grades and taxes hanging over my head, undone. On top of a time-intensive prep week, I committed myself to doing an after school craft class for my middle schoolers, which has required shopping, preparation and a longer than normal schedule. Then our school is hosting a fundraising night at one of the local fast food places, but I had already committed to go to the minor league ballpark and procure my husband a “bobblehead” since his schedule won’t permit him to get to the game early enough to get one. Then there are the usual errands–a drop-off at the post office, a deposit at the bank. Making sure everyone has the right clothes and snacks and gets where they need to go on time.
And in the middle of all of that, my dedicated writing time comes after lunch, while the house is quiet and calm (even though I am filled with stress and anxiety). The very last thing I want to do is get quiet and take some time to write. I feel like the characters in the original Star Wars movie, when they are inside the garbage compressor. I am pressed on all sides, and I want to be anywhere but in the middle of all that trash. Maybe I should just use my writing time to check off a few more things on my to do list. Not even maybe. How can I do anything else?
These situations are more than just a stress cocktail, threatening to explode. They are opportunities to trust God, to make the right decisions even when they seem impossible. We can take a deep breath and decide to stay faithful to a commitment, or we can let the current push us along until it’s even harder to stay afloat.
Don’t let me make this sound easy. So many times I’ve chosen the wrong way. But looking back over those experiences, I can honestly say that choosing the schedule never works out the way I think it will. Sometimes I do accomplish more, then feel like I have missed out on what was most important. And many times, I actually end up further behind because of unexpected problems.
God has given us the time we need to accomplish His purpose. We need to think and pray carefully about the things to which we choose to give our time. The Holy Spirit will guide us to make the right choices. We can choose not to let our circumstances define our reactions or our schedules define our choices.
And when we really do need to pre-empt our spiritual commitments to handle life, we need to think very hard about how to restructure life so that it doesn’t become a habit to do so.
I hope we won’t deny ourselves the blessings that come when we choose God over our schedules. I enjoy watching God work to make seemingly impossible things become reality. So many times God has worked things out so that I can get everything done that I need to do. So often I forget that He is so much better at working things together for my good than I am. Oh me of little faith! Help my unbelief.
Thank God for my oldest child, who often steps in to help me when I start asking God how to divide myself in half. She will be taking the other two to the fundraiser night while I go to the ballpark, where I will take advantage of what could be my only chance to relax all week.
And thank You, God, for my busy life. For all the opportunities to serve You and my family. For giving me a calling that brings me right to your feet, day after day. Help me to be faithful and trust you each day. Amen.