Several years ago I was given a piece of advice that has been a comfort to me. I don't remember who said it, possibly Richard's older sister Melody, but I'm not entirely sure. The advice was: "If your day is so full of stuff that you can't possibly accomplish it all, chances are you've been adding your own stuff to God's schedule for you."
The idea is that God knows how much we are able to do, and as a good God He won't ask us to do more in a 24 hour period that we can physically accomplish in that time. God will fill up our schedules (laziness is not a Christian virtue) but He knows exactly what we can and can't accomplish, with His power, in a day. Some of us, however, have a tendency to put our own "to-do's" on God's list. And that just doesn't work.
That piece of wisdom has been a comfort to me because I do tend to have my own to-do list each day without always consulting Jesus about it. Then I get burned out, because I'm overwhelmed with the stuff I need to do, and can't seem to get to.
Take this past Saturday for example. There were several things going on:
1. It was a work day at the church, the jobs were mostly for men but there were a few women jobs and only one woman there--she needed help.
2. My home needed a Saturday deep clean.
3. The Christmas tree had to be taken down (I know! We were late!) and once that was done,
4. the needles, an inch deep in some places, had to be cleaned up.
5. I had to plan the menu for next week,
6. plus figure out what I'm going to make for next weeks' Freezer Cooking Day.
7. Oh, and did I mention there was a wedding at 2:00, at which I was going to be the family representative?
8. And that I had two or three blog posts that needed to be transferred from my mind to the draft box?
Maybe some women can do all that--I'm sure they can--but I knew I wouldn't be able to. So I did the best I could at working down the list, and did all the jobs part way. For example, I didn't FINISH cleaning the house.... but I did clear the table. I didn't COMPLETELY plan the Freezer cooking day, but I did make a good starter list. It wasn't the best method, but it worked.
And then it was time to leave for the wedding. I got 20 minutes into my trip when the cars came to a standstill. On Saturday afternoon. When there's NOT supposed to be much traffic. My car crawled along--the stop and go traffic was more stop than go.
As I got closer to the source of the standstill I saw that the entire 3 lane highway was being routed onto a single feeder street. No wonder things were so slow.
There was one exit left, onto another highway, that I could take. I could see the other highway was moving along well--but in the opposite direction. Towards my home, NOT the wedding. I glanced at the clock. The wedding, if it was the traditional few minutes late, had already started.
So I took the highway exit, and let God plan my schedule. I spent the afternoon cleaning my kitchen, my bathrooms, the bedroom, making a loaf of bread, vacuuming up pine needles, and writing a couple blog posts--instead of watching our friend and his bride get married.
I didn't get to congratulate my friends, but the look on my man's face when he saw an unexpectedly clean house after a 13 hour work day was enough to make up for it. When he praised me for keeping my priorities in order I knew that, as much as I'd wanted to go to the wedding, it was alright that I didn't make it.
I wasn't able to get EVERYTHING on that to-do list done, but that's okay.
God was planning my schedule.