Isaiah 40:31: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
Have you ever started your To Do list in the morning and before you could even finish, the plans you had so carefully laid out were already changed? You go to bed that night wondering what exactly you accomplished, focusing on what you still need to do, and frustrated as though you crossed off nothing.
How about starting your day this way instead? Get up fifteen minutes earlier than usual and find a nice comfortable spot to spend some time with God. After reading the Bible (if you don’t know where to start, the gospels are a great place to begin: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and finish with prayer time (first thanking God for your day and then bringing any concerns you have to Him). Before you get up, hold out your hands (literally or figuratively) and ask Him to take from you what you don’t need but what others do, to fill you with what He wants you to have, and to help you accomplish His agenda today.
Then, continue on your day as normal. Go ahead and make your To Do list, but be aware of that still, small voice that whispers every once in a while something that you wouldn’t normally do, but what you feel you should do. Do you know the voice I mean? That one that whispers to you to spend some quality time talking or reading to or playing games with your kids instead of texting, spending time on Facebook, or vegging in front of the TV. Maybe it takes the form of buying a meal for the person standing behind you in line at McDonalds…or it could be as simple as biting back the sarcastic remark and instead speaking words of encouragement to your coworker who has interrupted you for the umpteenth time in the last thirty minutes to talk about the latest gossip.
What about seeing the interruptions in your already busy life as opportunities instead of annoyances? That phone call that makes you late could very well have saved you from an automobile accident…or the missed visit with your friend frees you up to pick up your sick child. The play date your child has with the new kid in school could be an opportunity to show God’s love to an entire family who miss their friends and are still learning their way around a strange town.
When you take a minute and reexamine the way you approach your day, it makes a big difference. If you change your mindset from, “I have to get x, y, and z done, so don’t get in my way,” to “Okay, God, I wasn’t planning this, but how can you use me right now?,” it’s amazing the blessings that you can extend to others as well as the ones given back to you as well. I have found in my own life, when I truly am on the lookout for the Holy Spirit prompting me, I have more energy, I’m more patient, and I sleep better, even when my To Do is only half done. When I choose to ignore His gentle tug on my soul, my list might be completely crossed off, but I’m crabbier, more irritable, and generally not as much fun to be around.
I’m still a work in progress as I’m guilty for not responding to His voice each and every time, but I do find that when I ignore Him (usually for selfish reasons), I’m disappointed in myself. And besides, it’s kind of fun to approach life with a “loose agenda.” It’s not an excuse to be lazy (the To Do list still needs to be accomplished), but instead it’s an opportunity to mix things up, to be open and willing to change plans. It gives me a chance to be a blessing to others and to see what blessings God will ultimately give back to me.
When looked at that way, it’s a win-win for all involved.