"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy."
~ Elisabeth Elliott ~
I have been challenged the last few weeks to order my priorities in the things of God, and see Him bless my time. I have always known in my head that we make time for the things that are important to us and that are activities speak loudly about what or Who ranks first in our lives. Knowing it in my head and determining to act it from the heart, are two different matters. So, I have been challenged.
It began a few weeks ago. A friend was having outpatient surgery. I felt led to offer to prepare a family meal for her two days after the surgery (knowing that day one she wouldn't want much and day two her daughter was not working). So I got up that Thursday morning and reviewed what needed to be done: cake baked, casserole made, salad made, carrots steamed, school for Jewel, laundry finished, Bible Study prepared for Friday, trip to bank, our own family meal planned and prepared. (Ironically, or not, the Bible Study I was preparing was on Martha not choosing the "best" thing.) I sat down and looked at what needed to be done, and prayed "God I believe everything on this list are tasks ordained by you in my ministry as a mother, wife and friend. But it won't all get done if you don't do it, so please help me." That was at 8:30. Jewel and I baked the cake as part of school. She sat down to do her handwriting while I made the casserole and put it in the fridge for later. I sliced the carrots while she did art. She read to me while the cake finished. She played while I prepared Bible Study and the cake cooled. In between I put in the last load of laundry and moved the clean clothes up to the bed to fold. I iced the cake--and realized that with the exception of heating the casserole just before taking it to my friend (after which I was going to the bank), everything was done. I looked at the clock. It was 10:45. I don't know if the sun stopped moving for a while, but I do know that God honored the fact that the tasks were His and they were all done. I even had time to enjoy the day with my girls. I sat down and cried just because of the goodness of God.
Elisabeth Elliott is right--when we concern ourselves with the tasks of today that the Lord has called us to do, there is always time to accomplish His will. I've seen it happen time and time again. So why then do I find myself harried and hurried? Most often it is because I have *volunteered* to do *good things* that God has never ordained for me to do. I add to the heaviness of serving God by saying *yes* when I should say *let me ask God about that*. I tend to forget that I am not a lone ranger having to do it all myself. The other reason I feel hurried is I let non-priority things come first. I enjoy my computer time, but it cannot take the majority of my time--and it is so easy to lose track of time while reading blogs or surfing the Internet looking for education helps. I relax with my hobbies, but if I start them before I start the care of the home, the home suffers. Non-priority good things usually get done, and with less guilt, when I keep the priority good things first. I know it in my head---I want to apply it in my heart.
Father, thank you for the being the source of my time and the keeper of my time. Thank you that you really don't call me to do more than You can do through me. Help me to seek your face first. Help me to arrange my priorities to be Your priorities. Help me to be discerning when to say yes and when to say not now. As people look into my life, I want them to see Your heart for people and not just an exhausted person trying to do good on her own. Make my life reflect You. And I will give You the glory for all that is done. In Jesus' name and for His sake...amen.
To read what others are saying this week about this quote, please visit Sarah at To Motherhood and Beyond. I know you will be blessed!