Jesus is My Day Timer

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

In just two short weeks, Hannah and Hayleigh will be off to high school and middle school and Clara will begin her last year of preschool. I once heard Joe White of Kanakuk camps say, "The days of being a mother are very long but the years are very short." This is so true. Where has the last year gone?

Once again, I am reminded how important it is to make the most of everyday that I have left with my kids. What does it mean to make the most of my day though? Does this mean maximizing my number of activities? Should I be adding to or subtracting from the extracurricular activities my kids are involved in? How do I know what to do with my time each day?

Today I am reading Acts 20:1-16. This passage chronicles a number of Paul's stops. The passage opens in Ephesus where a major uprising has just been quelled with the intervention of the city clerk. Paul stays with the disciples there long enough to encourage them and then sets out for Macedonia (Verse 1). He travels through Macedonia and speaks words of encouragement along the way, apparently just stopping briefly in each city (Verse 2).

Next, he arrives in Greece, where he stays three months (Verses 2-3). He had planned to go to Syria next but he received word of a plot against him there so he went back through Macedonia instead (Verse 3). Next, Paul arrives in Troas and stays there 7 days. This passage concludes with Paul and his companions arriving in Miletus.

As I studied this passage I wondered how Paul decided his length of stay in each location. Sometimes he breezed through town; at other times he lingered three months. Although it is not stated explicitly in the text, some clues are given to us.
  • He allowed God to lead him - Acts 16:7 relates that Paul and his friends intended to enter Bithynia but "the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to". Clearly Paul was checking his itinerary often with God to ensure he was exactly where God wanted him to be.
  • He focused on the needs of others - This passage opens with Paul staying in Ephesus only long enough to encourage the believers there. He stayed long enough to accomplish what those believer's needed and nothing more. He did not yield to the temptation to believe they could not carry on without him, nor did he focus on his own needs. We that best in Troas where Paul preached all night in order to maximize his impact there while sticking to the agenda he felt God had given him. He believed he was to be in Jerusalem for Pentacost (Verse 16) and would do whatever it took to be there, even if that meant sacrificing his own need of sleep.
  • He tempered his drive with common sense - In my opinion, there is no other figure in the Bible as passionate as Paul. Yet when he heard a plot was rising against him in Syria, he changed his plans to go there. He didn't allow his drive to blot out the common sense of avoiding danger if it were possible.

As I look at my own agenda for the day, I ask myself three questions. Is God leading me? Am I focusing on the needs of others? Am I using the common sense God gave me?

  • Is God leading me? - I can pack my day full of good and profitable activities but if they aren't the ones God wants me participating in, I'm just spinning my wheels. I try to begin each day with a submissive heart and say to Jesus, "This day is Yours. What do You want me to do today?"
  • Am I focusing on the needs of others? - It is so easy to get wrapped up in getting things marked of my list. I sincerely enjoy the feeling of accomplishment of finishing a cleaning project or better yet, staring at an empty dirty laundry bin. However, if I do these things to meet my needs instead of blessing my family, I'm not really allowing God to lead my day. I also fall prey to dealing with emergencies instead of the important. Often the true needs of others lie in the important, not the urgent. Did I make time to write my friend who's struggling in her faith? Did I pray with my kids today? Did I randomly call my husband today to tell him I love. These things rarely get done by living in the urgent.
  • Am I using the common sense God gave me? - From time to time, I let my schedule get totally out of control. I'll have three meetings scheduled back to back, followed by four carpool drop offs that afternoon. The only way I can "do it all" is if everything goes perfectly. Since life isn't perfect, I have created an illogical, unattainable schedule. I need to employ the common sense God gave me and put more space in my schedule.

Jesus, truly my day is Yours. Help me make the most of it by focusing on the tasks You'd have me do and eliminating "noise" that only leads to distraction and ineffectiveness. Today I will allow You to lead me, make serving others my primary goal and use common sense when planning my day. Oh, and I will make the most of this day with my kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Thank you for your comments!