It's finally Friday! I don't know about you, but I (Melissa) am certainly ready for a relaxing weekend. It’s been a buys week, with lots to do. You might even remember from Monday’s devotional that I was a bit concerned about how I was going to get everything that I felt needed to get done accomplished this week.
You might also remember that I issued myself a challenge: to let God be the one in control of my to-do list. And although I may not have done it perfectly, each morning as my feet hit the floor, I tried to give Him my daily tasks. Asking Him to be the one in control. Asking Him to help me prioritize and accomplish the things that HE felt I needed to be focusing on.
It’s five days later and while not everything on my list is crossed off, I feel good about what I’ve done. And I feel like I am ending the week with a few important lessons.
Curious about what I learned during this week that I invited God into the role of my time manager?
I had three significant takeaways:
1. No one can “do it all.” And especially not alone.
Several times this week I was reminded that, by myself, I am incapable. It’s only when I rely on the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to do even more than I imagined I could. In fact, on several days this week I finished what I set out to accomplish even before the deadline I set for myself – meaning I didn’t have to test my body’s ability to pull an “all-nighter” again after many years. There is no explanation for these accomplishments other than God’s intervention. Remember, I was doubting my own ability to make it all happen. And then I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite verses:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
This week, the verse translated something like this: “Don’t get too comfortable with your own agenda. God knows the best places for your energies. Let Him take the lead and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you will accomplish. It may not be what you set out to do in the beginning, but it WILL be better.”
2. In the midst of the “have tos,” I need to also make time for the “want tos.”
Mid-week felt like God was nudging me to focus some of my time on the things I wanted to do – to write, to read for fun, to plan some craft projects, to bake cupcakes – all things I love but lament to others that “I just don’t have time to do those things anymore.”
Not so, says God. Taking time for the things that I love and want to do glorifies God because He is the one who instilled those passions in me. When I am not taking the time – or making the time – for the things that I want to do, I am not working toward fully becoming the woman that God intends me to be.
3. God is calling me to value relationships more than results.
Early in the week (Monday, actually) I had a coffee date planned with a dear friend. Sunday night and Monday were at the height of my “I’ll never get everything done” freak out, so there were many moments I considered texting her to reschedule. But I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t. You see, I love the times that I am able to spend with this friend. I love our talks. I love how inspired I feel when we leave. I needed that this week. And God knew that.
As I drove home after coffee, God gently reminded me that the time I spend nurturing relationships with family and friends is far more important than how many loads of laundry I finish or how clean my bathrooms are. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that God still wants us to give our best to everything and be able to see the results. But if there is a choice between spending time with a person and spending time on a task … well, there is no choice.
At first, I thought these lessons were about balance and finding more white space, down time, etc. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that they are about giving up control – total surrender.
They’re an invitation to give my life fully to God and let His will be done. Honestly, that’s scary to me. I’m a planner. And a worrier. I like to know what to expect. All the time.
So this week was just a first step. But after seeing where that first step took me, I’m ready to take the next one.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)