Hands up if you are a list-maker! I gather there are quite a few of us out there.
Don’t you love the feeling of when a plan comes together? You have made the list, set out the program, planned the date and everything is going according to plan. You are loving the feeling of being organised, in control and self-sufficient. Yep, you don’t need any help because ‘you’ve got this one in the bag’.
Then your friend ‘spanner-in-the-works’ pays you a visit and the clogs get jammed, the planning comes undone and nothing is completed or falls into place the way it is supposed to.
I’ve had that happen far too many times and though my best laid plans seemed to be faultless, that’s when the car would break down, or it would rain on the outdoor birthday party or the shop had run out of that one last piece that would make everything fit into place.
So many times it is also easy to look at the coming week and wonder how we’ll ever do it. How we’ll get through the long list of demands and pressing appointments, as well as organising our children’s social lives and events and accomplish everything that must get done.
If we look too far outside of the day that we are in, it can be overwhelming. Our heart-rate increases and our minds begin to scroll through times and dates, how-to’s and deadlines.
It is then we need to take our thoughts captive and put our focus back onto God. He is waiting for us to lean into Him. He doesn’t want us to worry about the future because that is when we miss out on the present.
He has given us grace for each day. He walks with us in the present and says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own troubles. Today’s troubles are enough for today,” Matthew 6 verse 34 (NLT).
Just like the Israelites in the Old Testament had only enough manna for each day, so God will give us what we need for each day if we trust in Him.
These days I tend not to make so many lists. Learning that I haven’t always got the answers, that I can’t predict every step that I will take during a day, and not having the super powers required that enable me to control the actions of others, has a way of helping me to surrender to the one who does know my steps before I take them and who does know what I need before I even ask.
When we focus on Him and let Him take the reigns, we can relax and know that we are in good hands, the best.
‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You,’ Isaiah 26 verse 3 (NKJV).
So the next time you make a list, hold it loosely and let the one who loves you most, direct your paths and your lists according to his purposes.
‘Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,’ Proverbs 19 verse 21 (NIV).
First published Christian Today Australia 21 May 2014 http://www.christiantoday.com.au/article/list.makers.relax/17388.htm