Growing up, I was the biggest type-B person you could ever meet! I struggled with procrastinating on anything that didn’t interest me, regularly flew by the seat of my pants, and was the queen of disorganization. Interestingly, however, since becoming a mom, I am far more type-A than I ever thought I would be! I love my plans, my to-do list, my planner, and my routine; though the organization department is still sometimes a bit lacking!
The problem with this change, however, is that it has brought a few other things along with it: namely, anger, frustration, and selfishness when little “interruptions” arise which throw me off course for the day and keep me from completing my idolized to-do list. Too often, my joy is based in what I accomplish from my own plan in any given day, rather than where it should be based – in my relationship with Christ and in following His lead for my days.
The reality is that, plan and try as we might, we will not always live out our days the way we initially wanted to. God will sometimes intentionally bring about what we view as interruptions but what are really, as Priscilla Shirer calls them, “divine interventions”- and that’s a good thing! These interventions are not something we should view as being a nuisance or frustration. Rather, they are something to embrace as a hand-delivered mission from God Himself. Here are three reasons we should hold our to-do lists very lightly so that we might instead be open and able to fully embrace God’s plans for our days:
God wants to train, sanctify, and grow us.
What we view as meaningless, random interruptions are anything but. These divinely-inspired interventions are really moments that the Lord wants us to surrender so that they might be used to bring growth, strength, fortitude, and faithfulness to our souls. He wants us to be able to surrender our days to Him, to slow down and wait for, look for, and heed His direction for our daily lives rather than our own. He wants us to allow Him to truly guide and direct our steps along the way.
Our lofty “ideals” aren’t always God’s best for our day.
It feels good to accomplish tasks and mark things off our to-do lists. However, sometimes fulfilling all those lofty ideals aren’t what is best for ourselves, our walk with Christ, or those around us. What too often happens when we are bent on fulfilling our own plans for the day no matter what, is that we miss out on the hidden blessings and ministry opportunities that could have been ours had we walked with God and heeded His direction rather than rushing ahead of Him. We forgo our quiet time in an effort to get all our work done, we push our kids to the side so we can do what we think is most important, and we rush around in a haze of busyness, not even having eyes to see those in our path that are in need of a hug, encouragement, or help. This mercifully begins to change when we let go and let God guide.
It’s all about relationships.
Far too often I have been glued to my phone, computer, or to-do list when my child, a friend, or another loved one asked me a question, called me up, or needed me for something. I’m ashamed to say that, rather than remembering that our relationships are the only things we can possibly take with us into eternity, I grew impatient and angry at the interruption. What I am slowly but surely beginning to remember more often, though, is that ultimately nothing on my to-do list is nearly as important as cultivating relationships is – my relationship with God, my husband, my children, my extended family, my co-workers, my friends, and truly, anyone the Lord brings across my path. To be an ambassador of Christ living out the Great Commission is our life purpose. May we remember that and view “interruptions” as actually being exciting God-ordained opportunities for ministry and impact!
They may not always feel like it, but God’s ways truly are best. He isn’t out to get you, isn’t trying to sadistically wreck all your plans. What He is trying to do is give you special little opportunities throughout your day to choose what is best, so that you might live your one life well. He is lovingly sending little interventions your way so that you might be reminded of what is truly most important- and that is a gift not to be thwarted!