I had one thing written on my agenda for that day.
Every other day was packed with wall-to-wall to-do list items.
But not that day. I had just one thing I needed to do and I needed to be efficient and productive so that I could spend all the other days doing all the other things.
My list read:
But by 2:00, what I just wrote on this screen so far….that was the extent of my progress.
So, what exactly did I do all day?
A million things, just not that one thing.
I had four sick children with coughs and runny noses.
I cleaned up tissues.
I discovered piles of them next to beds and overflowing from bathroom trashcans. I found a plastic bag full of them on the counter. I saw miniature mountains of them here and there where we had chased my baby with a Kleenex.
It felt like the full extent of my productivity was wrapped up in this: Tissue Clean-Up.
I wrote cards and notes responding to prayer requests and answered messages.
I scribbled nonsensical slivers of ideas down here and there all morning so I wouldn’t forget what I wanted to write about later.
I washed dishes and washed clothes and somehow cleaned a house that still looks messier than when I began.
What have I done?
A million things. Nothing. Certainly not that one thing I intended to do.
Somehow when you’ve spent all day doing and doing and yet haven’t crossed that one thing off that to-do list, you feel like a failure.
The dam of condemnation cracks and shatters and spews it all out.
How can you have spent all day doing absolutely nothing? What in the world are you doing with yourself? Are you lazy? Are you inept? How is your house not spotless and your work not done?
And yet, what good is an agenda, really, if it’s my agenda and not God’s?
We can make these perfect plans and miss out on God completely. We can push right through the disruptions and the distractions to accomplish our goal and end up lost and far from Him.
C.S. Lewis wrote:
“the great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant (or unexpected) things as interruptions in one’s own life, or real life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life.”
God’s involvement in my agenda isn’t always painful or unpleasant, but it’s usually unexpected. Like Proverbs 19:21 says:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
I am a ‘many plans’ kind of girl and I’ll shove my way right on through the obstacles to make those plans happen.
And yet, here I am this month, Learning When to Say ‘Yes,’ and I’ve found that saying yes to God starts with being flexible.
It starts with offering Him my to-do list and it includes yielding willingly, gently and without complaint to the twists of the day and the altering of the path.
I stink at this.
But, Moses the shepherd out there in the desert got it right. He had a plan to lead “the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1).
That’s when God lit a fire within a bush and captured Moses’s attention.
Moses had to decide. Stick with his own plan? Or follow the unexpected.
He chose to bend.
He said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight” (Exodus 3:4).
In The Power of God’s Names, Tony Evans writes:
God didn’t reveal Himself to Moses until Moses turned aside from His ordinary routine.
And that Samaritan that Jesus described in Luke 10…he was traveling the road for a reason. Others had traveled before him: a priest, a Levite. They saw a dying man on the side of the road and pressed right on past because he wasn’t on the itinerary.
But the Good Samaritan turned aside. He stepped off the road. He took the time.
He walked right out of his own agenda and right on into God’s.
May we always be flexible enough to turn aside and to exchange our agendas and plans for His perfect ones (even if they are unexpected).
What is God’s plan for you today? Have you asked Him?
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Learn When to Say, ‘Yes?’
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
- June: Invest in Friendship
- July: Retreat and Refresh
- August: Learn to Say, “No”
- September: Learn When to Say, “Yes”
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King