One of the benefits of moving–it encourages one to purge all the clutter accumulated over the years. We’ve moved a fair number of times. Having packed and unpacked so often, you’d think we would have pared everything down to the bare essentials. Not quite. Somehow those non-essentials find a way to weasel into our homes and hearts, cluttering up everything and, well, making a mess. But moving helps. (Knowing movers charge by weight is a great clutter-reduction motivator!)
The same is often true of my schedule. It amazes me how easy it is to slip into business, to waste my time on those things that lack eternal value.
As many of you know, I’ve had to reevaluate my schedule this summer in order to free more time to spend with my daughter. This wasn’t easy. I’ve got a lot on my plate, and quite often, I’ll pull some pretty long hours. Initially, looking at all my supposed “must-dos,” I wondered how I’d ever make it all fit. I spent a few days in prayer asking God to show me. I wanted to know how I was going to get it all done while spending much needed time with my baby-girl.
In essence, He told me, “You aren’t.”
Something had to go. A few somethings, actually. Quite honestly, this was hard at first. This paring back always is. But the blessings always follow.
In the process, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. Many of the tasks I thought were so utterly crucial really weren’t, and with them sliced out of my schedule, God helped me to free my time for tremendous blessings, like:
Nail painting with my daughter
Spending time with Omaha’s working poor and homeless
Connecting with friends
That doesn’t mean I don’t still have a few “must-dos.” Bills must be paid, obligations and responsibilities must be met, but by viewing it all through eternity’s lens, I’m able to evaluate everything with much more clarity. My prayer is that, even after this season ends, I’ll carry this lesson with me, making it a practice to evaluate my schedule periodically, looking for that hidden clutter that’s weaseled it’s way in. Looking for ways to keep first things first.
As you begin your busy day, I encourage you to do the same.
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.