It’s the frittering of time that most frustrates, and embarrasses me. How can I have a constant sense that there is never enough time to complete what needs or desires to be accomplished, and yet, when granted the gift of time, the list of to-dos and the organized motivation escape me?
Is there an identifiable syndrome whose symptoms include inability to stay focused, a constant juggling of the spinning plates of life, frequent difficulty in determining that a plate is finished or to remove extra ones? Woven among that mental chaos is the feeling of being totally overwhelmed by the must dos, could dos, and want to dos? The end result is that it all can’t get done, so I give up and find something totally different, and probably not as important, to accomplish that CAN get done?
So what IS important today?
Is it the making of lists? The dusting of shelves? Finding a replacement couch for the one shredded by time and dog? Writing the holiday letter? Adding pages to Dad’s scrapbook so that he can remember? Sewing the practice dress for Caroline’s special day? What about that turkey soup for this evening’s gathering?
Should I join the frantic spending of time and money in an attempt to gather Christmas gifts early and at less expense?
I look back over my list and try to see God in it all, to be sure, that my day is full of ‘righteous living’. Because, when all is said and done, or not done, or even partially done, how I live through and in each task is my day’s offering to God. How I live in the list is my moment-by-moment gift of thanksliving to God who made all my moments. It is my opportunity to take a stand for Him, to be a witness to His perfection and glory, to demonstrate His capacity to love and fulfill.
1 John 2:20 says that I have been anointed by the Holy One. Anointed. Set apart for a different purpose than my own. Set apart for a purpose that draws me into fellowship with the One who created the universe and raised up Man that we might enjoy relationship with Him.
Let me look at that list again.
Same list. Set apart for a different purpose, perhaps?
*The Cleaning. I can dust the shelves and walk with Him each stroke. Thank you, Lord, for those memories captured in the framed photos. Each one is a gift, and by Your hand, has added something important to who I am. Thank you for the nooks and crannies, the sit upons and eat upons that you have brought into my life. May they be used for service in Your Name.
*The Shopping. (which you know is agony for me, Lord!) I have such trouble making a decision, and always doubt my stewardship of Your money. Walk with me here, Lord. Help me purpose this addition to my home as a tool to create moments that reflect you in family times and hospitality. I pray over this purchase, over this use of your money. Help me discern between want and need.
*The Letter. What a blessed opportunity this is, Lord, to reflect on the past year, to see how bountiful your blessings are, to wonder again at how very present and active you are in my life. I praise you for guiding doctor’s hands, for the joys of laughter and family, for strength in loss.
*The Book. Help me, Father, to choose love for my father. Help me minister to him in his decline, to assure him, to reflect You to him and all who now surround him in his daily activities. As I select photos, help me gather those which will provide comfort and peace for his fracture mind.
*The Wedding. Holy Father, with each stitch, each plan, each decision, may we involve you now and in the future. I pray for this young couple, that You be their center, that they will faithfully walk together for all their time here on earth. Help me to encourage and not control, to build up and not tear down, to be a good example, to serve selflessly. May we be wise with our finances as we celebrate. May the event we are creating not lose You, but be an opportunity to glorify You and bless the children.
*The Soup. The bounty of each table cries out Your Name. Thank you for these good gifts. Thank you for plenty. Thank you for the unseen hands that harvest and process and deliver. Unknown to me, but always known by You, I ask that You bless these souls with grace and knowledge of You.
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.