So…today is October 1st. WHAT?!
If you're like me, you're probably sitting back and reading this trying to figure out where September has gone. If you or your family is as busy as mine, your September has probably been full of long car rides, rushing to and from places, infinite to-do lists, missed appointments and missed opportunities because you were "too busy." Yeah…me too.
This month has just been insane and I feel like every time I turn around, there is something else that I have to do, somewhere else I have to be, and things that need planning and doing. This week was supposed to be fall break from school and let me tell you, I had a list of at least twenty things that I wanted to accomplish over break. And then, BAM.
I got sick. Not sniffly and sneezy, sick. Like bed rest for a week, sick.
All of my plans = GONE.
These past couple of sick days have not been fun but I have learned something really valuable from them.
I am not in control.
And honestly, that is so scary. I spend so much of time focusing on what I have to get done and the to-do lists of my week and the craziness that is just life in general, that I miss out on so many other things that I should be enjoying. Am I too busy rushing to class, thinking about all that I have to get done today to notice the way the sun is warming my face as a chilly fall breeze blows through my hair? Am I too busy checking email, social media, and texting people back that I don't notice someone who may need a friendly smile or someone to say hello? Am I too wrapped up in my to-do list that I can't find any room to be spontaneous or do something for myself like read a good book or paint my nails?
Maybe none of those things apply to you but maybe you fill a sense of anxiety and a need to get things done in a timely fashion or you fill all hope will be lost if it doesn't get done today.
So often, the heart of the problem is not that we are "too busy." The real problem is that we have lost our perspective. We have become the master and the planner of our own existence and have somehow forgotten that God is the one in control of our to-do lists. Not us.
In Exodus 14, we see our good friend Moses who is finally leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Along the way, Mr. Pharaoh changed his mind about letting the Israelites go and was on his way with his massive army to get them back. Immediately the Israelites began freaking out because this was not going according to the way they had planned and it was scaring them. Then, Moses answers the Israelites concerns by saying, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14 NIV)
"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth!"
(Psalm 46:10 ESV)
"It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."
(Lamentations 3:26 ESV)
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"
(Psalm 37:7 ESV)
Here's one that really gets me:
"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But you were unwilling…"
(Isaiah 30:15 ESV)
All throughout the Bible, the Lord is telling us to be still, be quiet, and trust Him. He wants us to consult Him about our day and entrust our to-do lists to Him. He wants us to trust Him if He changes our plans and He wants us to be flexible and fret over our schedules. He wants us to be still and hear His voice and His guidance.
How often do we stress ourselves out and overwork ourselves because we are unwilling to be still and rest in God's all-mighty power and control? For me, that answer would be more times than I can count.
So, for the month of October, I want to challenge you and I am challenging myself. In the morning, before your day gets crazy, take five minutes to be still, pray, and listen for God's voice and guidance. I think we'll have much better days, weeks, and months if we start out with Jesus and His peace.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.