My girlfriend and I were bemoaning another school project assignment. The papers came home in the backpacks, encouraging families to create a masterpiece together out of household items — pasta, glitter, googly eyes, cereal. It should have been a fun adventure in teamwork. But, as experienced moms, we knew there was a good chance it wouldn’t be. There would likely be creative differences resulting in tears. Our kids might even cry, too.
It didn’t help that it was a busy week in life. Lots of recitals and games to attend, activities at church and deadlines for work. (Didn’t the first grade teachers have a copy of our schedules? Seriously!) So, by the time the family project assignments landed on our counters, our authentic response was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s a funny, popular statement, but its meaning goes far beyond the rejected task at hand.
Time has become our most precious commodity. We swing between spreading it out too thin to doling it out like precious gold. We know that we should use our minutes wisely, so when an opportunity comes along that will take time, we evaluate it. Do I have time for this? Do I have time for that? Yes, I do. No, I do not.
But, what if there was more than enough to accomplish every task, every relationship, and every journey God intends for you? There is.
God knows our every moment. He is aware of all 24 hours in our day and 168 hours in our week. And He has perfect plans for each one of them.
I used to get discouraged when my to-do list wasn’t finished by the end of the day. I concluded that I hadn’t used my time wisely, because my list didn’t get done. But then God challenged my thinking by asking, “If you are walking with me step-by-step throughout your day, following my leading moment-by-moment, isn’t that accomplishing MY to-do list?”
So, if I run into a friend at the grocery store, resulting in a heartfelt talk, but I consequently don’t make it to the post office, is that a productive afternoon? Or when a traffic jam causes me to miss my meeting, but I got to listen to all of an encouraging podcast, was that a good use of time?
Proverbs 16:9 says:
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
If we walk by the Spirit throughout our day, we can experience God’s plans for our time.
We accomplish His tasks, His ideas, His hopes. And, in doing so, we can find great satisfaction at the end of the day. Even more satisfaction than a crossed-off to-do list.
Oh, the bills might still need to be paid and the laundry put away. But, we find joy in knowing there’s exactly enough time every day to accomplish God’s will. There is time to be alone and time for friends. Time for tasks and time for rest. There is time for groceries and work and play and naps. There’s even time for family school projects involving glue, glitter, and googly eyes.
Turns out, walking by the Spirit, you do have time for that.
We make our plans but the Lord determines our steps, I really like it!- this verse like a lot of verses are new to me. How comforting to know the Lord determines our steps another reminder that He is with us and For us, every single moment! Great post Christine!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Am I accomplishing GOD’S to do list?? Wow that hit me. Like you and Jas said…I make my plans, but the Lord determines my steps. If I am walking with Him then I am getting done what He wants me to get done. Often it’s not about the “doing” at all, it’s about the “being” in His presence – in relationship with Him. On a side note…I had to chuckle over the school projects. My son is 23 and I still don’t have the heart to discard his fourth grader project to build a lighthouse. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears (yes mine) went into that sucker and it still stands in the attic as a testimony to time we spent together…Loved your post!!
Hi Christine and Bev! Thank you Christine for this beautiful post that helps me to see that its about changing my priorities, my expectations, so they are not mine, but His. I am so grateful for this kick in the pants LOL that I needed today. Bev, you are so right that its about walking in relationship with Him-thank you for that hughly important reminder that I so desperately needed 🙂 I praise Jesus for these wonderful bits of loving wisdom 🙂 May the Lord shower both of your days with His loving grace!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I so needed this kick in the pants too 🙂 We’re not alone…have a blessed day!
Mary Haynie says
Let your kids “clean” your home. Mine did when I broke my femur bone in 2011and I was in the hospital. They threw out all the things they had made in school that I had saved. I now know that it was for the best. I want to accomplish God’s Will and not have all the “stuff” around.
Shauna Letellier says
Thanks for that wonderful application of the light and easy burden Jesus offers! He is such a good Savior! Thanks for pointing us to Him!
Great post, Christine! I’ve got a love-hate relationship with time for all the reasons you stated. 🙂 Recently, my oldest had a drop-dead deadline for a school project. One where he wasted most of a semester, rather than working on it, he got distracted with other things. When I figured it out, I dropped a lot of “my” plans to help ensure he completed his project on time. (The natural consequence of not doing it was not an option in this situation). I groused to the Lord at times. There were precious moments with this boy as we worked together. You’re so right. When we’re completing His to-do list, we’re right on target with our time, aren’t we?
Now to remind myself about that in other areas of my life. 🙂
Rebecca Jones says
I love it! I used to live by a regular schedule, now nothing is more important than the Lord’s plans. His thoughts are higher than when you make the beds. And talking to a neighbor at the store may be important in other ways. As I hung around the grocery store card aisle looking for the perfect card, I was being protected from a major accident outside, had I left sooner, II could have been involved. Mysterious ways. He has us covered an little things mean a lot, do the projects, even if it’s hassle. There still be time to dig cereal out the couch.
Beth Williams says
Timely post! I can relate to being stuck in traffic and getting upset that “I” have things to do. Yet during the traffic I can listen to Christian music or a podcast and be encouraged. I can sit quietly and pray. I’m essentially accomplishing His to do list and not mine! What a concept!! 🙂 If we would all think of time as being with Him and use that time to pray, sing a hymn to praise Him! How much better the day would be!!
Cindy Campbell says
Perfectly written; thanks so much for sharing your wisdom…of which I’ll pass on to many sweet friends in need of your post. I re-learned to walk, talk and breathe through miracles after racing around for my work (car accident in 1992) in higher education~college admissions work. I may be 60 years young, but i look and feel 40!! Spread SONshine!!