Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Time For Everything

By Julie Gernand
This morning when I woke up, I already felt defeated. 
I’m a “to-do” list person. I love to cross things off lists after I accomplish them. It gives me a certain satisfaction.

Yet, when I look over my list in the morning and take in all that needs to be done, I often feel overwhelmed. 

Oh, that I had more time in a day.

Do you feel this way, too?

I currently work two part-time jobs, and often find myself in the middle of a scheduling nightmare. I struggle to find balance between finding time with my husband, finding time to call and visit family members, prepping for and driving to work #1, driving to work #2, cooking, keeping our house relatively clean, caring for our cat, spending time with our small group, exercising, and – oh yeah – taking time to spend with the Creator of the Universe in worship and prayer.

While this just the list that I have been given at this season of my life, I can only imagine the balancing act it takes those of you, dear sisters, with children and jobs and friends and health challenges and obligations that take much more time and planning than I face!

When I stop to take a reality-check, I realize that my “in-over-my-head” feeling comes when I think of ALL my challenges at once. I feel defeated when I think of everything that needs to be done as one, giant looming cloud. I forget the reminders given to us in Ecclesiates:

1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13)

I love this poem from the Bible. It reminds me of some key things:

ONE: God understands our time struggles. Believe it or not, Jesus was a pretty busy guy here on earth. He needed to find time to gather disciples, preach sermons, give teachings, heal the sick and dying, raise the dead, battle the devil’s schemes, and live a perfect and blameless life – all in the 33 short years he lived among us. Jesus knows that balance is important, and he will never give us more than we can handle with His leading.

TWO: Multi-tasking is overrated. As our passage reminds us, there is a specific time for everything. We lowly humans can only accomplish so many things at one time. In our daily time crunch, let us remember that it is often better to focus on one task at hand at a time. Even though our tendency may be to answer e-mails WHILE we make dinner, for example, our output or end product of a given task will most likely be of a greater quality if we give our entire focus to that activity. This is vital to remember in our daily tasks as well as when we spend time in prayer and worship.

THREE: Savor your season of life. Remember that the Lord has granted you your specific circumstances – jobs, relationships, activities – that will not look the same through the entirety of your life. If you have an extremely harried schedule at the moment, remember that those specific tasks will not last forever. If you are a young mom, savor your time with your little ones. Say "No" to needless or frivolous tasks. Seek balance and time-management to be able to give proper attention to all areas of our lives.

Lord, Today we are pulled in so many directions. Help us to savor our season of life, and to watch and praise you as our circumstances change. Help us to organize our thoughts and activities to be glorifying to you. Above all, help us to make spending time with you a priority. You are the greatest love we will ever know, and may we yearn to know you more.

Amen.

Tell us about a season you are in the midst of right now...which of these points speaks to your heart?

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