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January 15, 2009

Devotional Journey--Day 11

It's so typical that this is the entry for today. A day - if you must know - that has already been filled with "tasks" - one of which happens to be to write an entry for our shared devotional journey. (If you're just joining us, click here to download the FREE devotional booklet.)

In fact, in the 20 minutes after I sat down at my desk, I was cranking: I responded to five emails, confirmed a speaking date, revised a schedule for this blog, and written notes for a new book proposal. Once I checked those off my little to-do widget on the side of my screen, I headed to the devotional (I'm a day ahead of you guys so I can have this up in the morning. I probably wouldn't beat a lot of you out of bed otherwise!). It took no further than the title to convict me.

Of course, God. It's THIS one today?.. You see, in the past month or so, God's been working on me big time to slow down, to "x" things off my huge lists, and frankly, to trust him more. But like Susan who writes about her bent toward "productivity," I tend to equate getting a lot done quickly with a day well spent. I pride myself on my ability to multi-task, and I am efficient to a fault. It's good for business, but not always for my soul.

So I'm going to change that a bit right now. I'm going back to Luke 10: 38-42 and quiet my soul a bit with it. At least, I'm really going to try. And I want to see what God has to say to me and try not to view it as a task. But it's not easy with so many other things lurking on that to-do widget.

How about you all? Anything convict you today?


This year I want to quiet the screaming of the ToDo list on a day that I have allocated as a Sabbath. And I have already found (not even 16 days into the year) how difficult it is to maintain that day for rest.

I completely agree that frenetic living is laziness. And I'm guilty of it. My husband helps me to pare down my list frequently. He understands much better how much I can and should handle in my day and I often check through my ToDo list with him for his vital perspective.

What struck at my heart was the idea that laziness "can also come in the shape of frenetic activity and over-full days." Like Caryn, I take pride in being able to accomplish much in little time. Yet, I couldn't deny the truth of Susan's statement in my life.

Sometimes over-activity masks procrastination in me. I readily choose to do those no-brainer tasks that look like work over the more time-consuming thoughtful projects. Those frenetically active things soothe my conscience at the end of the day because after all I was busy.

I know God wants more of me. He wants me to learn to sit in quietness at His feet, inviting Him into my daily planning, prioritizing according to His will, not my to-do list.

Ultimately, I know revisiting my lists, with the guidance of His Spirit, will yield more for His kingdom and more peace in me.

This devotional got me in the heart too. And I'd LOVE to meet the woman who's totally on the other side of this one, but I think it's our constant battle. Jesus addressed it in women then; it's still true for us today.

I've been more aware that I can't get everything I'd like to get done DONE in one day. And I've been forced to choose what's best. And it's been refreshing. Realizing that some things really can wait, or really don't need to be handled--at least by me--is freeing. It helps me to see my place, and how God has that place ordered and fitted just for me. His plan for me isn't to be spinning around and running ragged and feeling pressured. He's got so much for me to BE and LIVE, while I just keep lazily adding things to do. I'm committing to being quiet and to knowing him better. I pray this is a year for that kind of "life-editing."

Self discipline, ugh. The advantage of having a packed schedule is that little self control is required. Unless you easily disregard your commitments, your schedule and obligations will control you. And, as was said on Day 7, “ the enemy will do everything he can to render us ineffective in service to our Lord.”

I have often observed that being busy can be a sign of pride and importance. I am so important that I have many, many things to do. Or it can be a sign that we are trying to earn points with God. And yet there is a balance. God requires us to serve our families. We do not honor Him if we do not keep up with the laundry and show up for work on time. And that is why sitting at the feet of Jesus is so important. We need to hear his voice saying this is the way, walk here. Otherwise our time and energy is stolen, sometimes by TV or other time wasters, but more often by the myriad of good, Christian things that clamor for our time. Isaiah 55:1-3

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