Lord of my life, Lord of my finances, Lord of my family, Lord of my job. How about Lord of my schedule?
I love planning my life so much I have it down to by the hour segments. Even without the intense workload of teaching, I still love to plan what I do with my time.
When people ask me out, the first thing I consult is my scheduler. I look at the time, and the date, and if it’s open, I’d often agree.
My reflection about this has been that often, I find that I am so exhausted, or do not have the mental capacity to cope with the people I’m meeting. In those situation, I would fall back on one of two options.
1. I flake. This is the option is dislike the most, because I do not keep to my word. This leads to guilt sometimes, when I know I haven’t seen someone in a while, or I know that the person needs some encouragement.
2. I go anyway and bear with it. Sometimes it turns out to be an incredible time, sometimes I leave utterly spent and now have to schedule in time to rest.
I’ve been thinking recently: What if it doesn’t have to be this way?
Why isn’t God the Lord of my schedule? What if I involved Him in the decisions regarding my time?
Truth is, we like to think that we can have a five-year plan, with all our holidays decided upon months in advance. By God’s grace, our holidays go according to plan, but it only takes a simple hiccup to throw everything into disarray. We’ve all had that experience, when a flu, or a bad stomach disrupts our holiday plans. Or a work thing going all wrong and we have to change our schedule for the week.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6: 34
At the heart of this is the idea that there is no way I can know what is going to happen tomorrow. Involving the Holy Spirit in decisions about my schedule gives a certain confidence and faith that it is all in God’s hands. It is the act of humility and accepting that I can’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, but I can, in submitting to God, make certain plans and trust that whatever happens will happen, and He will be in it.
And can we also talk about FOMO for a mo?
Fear of missing out can sometimes drive my choices in time management. When people organise parties, or movie outings, even church events, sometimes the fear that I would be left out would lead me to agree to things without really praying about it.
What I’m learning is to love God wholeheartedly, and this means surrendering my time to Him as well. I’m starting to understand the beauty and freedom that comes from inviting the Holy Spirit into my day, and wanting Him to be centre of how I spend my time.
I’m also learning the power of words, and how when God speaks, He does not speak in vain. His words create, and He is not flippant in His words. When He makes a covenant with His people, He does not go back on them. He is, in His character, bound by the words He speaks.
I want to be that person of character and integrity. I want my word to count for something. That when I say ‘yes’ to meeting people, it is my pledge and commitment to spending the time with them. I want my ‘no’s to be honest as well, to be kind to both myself and the people in my life.
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
By asking God to be Lord over my schedule I’m learning to be driven by Him, not by fear or my schedule. And I’m learning a new steadfastness and integrity in my word.
In a fast-paced world, so rapidly changing all the time, it makes most sense to place my trust on the unchanging God, the Rock of Ages. Especially in people-heavy work, where it can seem like everybody wants/needs a piece of you, remembering that God is your boss can be the most liberating thing.
If I can learn to let everything flow from Him, then I can remain unfazed by circumstances and difficulties.
I pray today that we will want God to be Lord over all of our lives. And to increasing measure. I pray that we will learn to involve Him in all our decisions, however big or small. And to be driven only by His love and His will. Not by the world or people in our lives. Above all, I pray we will learn what it means to anchor ourselves on the Rock.