A year ago, Pastor Matthew led us through a series titled Margins. He challenged us to take a step back from our normal, everyday routines and evaluate how we steward our time, our finances, our priorities, a Sabbath day, etc. For me, the way I prioritize my time did not reflect any margin in it at all. Growing up, I always liked to be busy. I wanted plans, I liked to go do things, I enjoyed anything that put me around others, and I felt like I was thriving if I was always on the go. Rest was never on the agenda. Now, as an adult and parent with active kids, I love being on the go with them but I have a new appreciation for having NOTHING planned for an evening. When I had to manage just my own busy schedule, it seemed less tedious, but having to manage it with adding my kids’ schedule demands too, I would need those breaks to get caught up. We always have more going on than the time we have available. It seems to be seasonal but it sneaks up on me every year! This current season is no different. Some of the activities look different than last year but the busyness is all the same. Over the last year, we have done a great job of prioritizing our time to be purposed about keeping God first. I do great with spending time in prayer and in devotional time...normally. But sometimes the schedule demands encroach on this habit. Even when the things in the schedule are ministry related, church activities, school functions, etc, I can lose the focus for the personal time with God. Basically, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, especially when it sacrifices the better reward, relational time with Jesus.
Being a planner type of person, it is difficult for me when things don’t go as I planned. Over the years, I have learned in my spiritual walk that I can trust God has a plan for me and my life. He has given me faith in this promise in very difficult times without revealing what the actual plan is, but through my devotion to Him, He will shine through me. My problem is that I get distracted from focusing on my life being His plan with my own plans. Our family schedules were really tight this fall. We had lots going on with helping with the new building, school getting back into session, fall sports firing up, 4-H fair projects, and normal work schedules. These things alone didn’t allow for any margin for ANYTHING else. And that is where what I had planned started spiraling. I had not allowed for rest. Unexpected things were added to the schedule. Urgent care visits for strep, doctors’ appointments, and a surgery. Yes, a surgery. I had to have my gallbladder removed. It was what they described as a routine, outpatient procedure and my down time was really only a day. They told me to plan on being sore but to keep active in my normal routine. So that is what I planned. My normal routine may have been too active, unbeknownst to me at the time. Less than a week post-surgery, I ended up spiking a fever and my son was complaining of a sore throat. So back to the doctor we went, to find that we both had strep this time. Even though we didn’t think we felt sick, our bodies were desperately needing rest. So against both of our wishes, we spent the day resting and reading. The next day I felt better than I had in months! What I realized in that moment was I had forgotten about the value of planning time to rest. God calls us to rest. He rested. I get so deep into making my own plans to go the way I want them to go that I forget I need to be purposed in resting. When I rest, I can regain clarity to hear what God wants to speak to me, and to remind myself that it really never is my plan. It will always be His plan for me. Choose to rest in His plan for you!
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested
from all his work that he had done in creation.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah