My greatest struggle every day is with myself. My to-do list consistently threatens to overwhelm and accuse me, no matter how small I manage to get it. And it wears me down. Though I’ve gotten better through the years, I still fall under the condemnation of things not finished at the end of my day.
So you can imagine what each new morning must feel like. Overwhelming. Anxiety-producing. Ominous and threatening. I know God’s mercies are new every morning, but so is my challenge to reign in my responsibilities and get a handle on them.
If you’re a woman, I’m sure you know this struggle, too. Especially if you’re a mom. Really especially if you’re a wife and mom. The daily mountain we must climb often seems insurmountable from the ground level view, and starting over at the same place every day – looking up from the bottom – can feel pretty discouraging.
Thankfully, there is still some resolve left in my spirit to try again today. It’s a gift God gives to us, I believe. Supernatural optimism that insists, no matter how hard yesterday might have been, today will be better.
Only today, I have settled it in my heart to do things different. Because if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that doing things the same way will never create different results. And since I do not like the results I’ve been living with, it must be time to try something new. Here is what I’m starting with today:
Instead of trying to wrestle my load of burdens into some kind of manageable package which I spend my energy and emotions trying to morph into something I can be proud of at the end of my day, I am handing over the keys to this car I’ve been driving. Rather than looking at what I’ve planned for today, I am pausing to remember again that He has plans I may know nothing about. He alone knows that way that I am supposed to take. He alone knows what treasures are to be met with in these hours which are before me. He alone knows what will surprise me, and what matters most – what carries value in eternity – when the sun goes down on this day. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the number of loads of laundry I have managed to fold.
It seems simple, and maybe we intend to live this way, but so often, we pick up the keys and get on our merry way, busy in our business, getting things done but missing the point.
I don’t want to miss the point again today. I don’t want to care more about getting things done that don’t make a difference in eternity, than I do about stopping and making room for the detours and interruptions God has planned.
I don’t want to be so intent on being a “good mom/wife/housekeeper/homeschool teacher” that I’m not really a good one at all, because I’ve focused more on the work to be done than the people to be loved.
I don’t want to sacrifice that which can’t be measured for that which can.
Today, I can’t see my way through the thick cloud of my life and my responsibilities. And I have two choices, as I stand in front of the cloud: Hesitate, and return to life-as-I’ve-been-trying-to-live-it, or go in, and trust God to lead me – one step at a time – deeper into His glory.
Not deeper into my accomplishments. Not deeper into what I or the world around me considers success. Not deeper into getting “more” done. Just deeper into His heart and His ways and His plans. Deeper into trusting that three steps at crawling pace and one task accomplished in the light of His presence are worth more than fifty steps at running pace and ten tasks accomplished in the darkness of my own vain imaginations.
Because I am only called to live the life He has given me today. I am only responsible for what He has entrusted to me. And He alone knows what this is all supposed to look like in the end.
I read today that if there is a cloud before me, it is God’s triumph car. So I am getting in! If the God of Heaven has come to take me for a ride, I don’t want to be foolish enough to say I’m too busy to go.
I’ve handed over the keys to my own car, which has been running on empty for a while now, and I’m headed straight into the cloud of glory God has waiting just for me and mine. I am handing over my plans and opening myself up to His. Who knows, maybe they will match up? But maybe they won’t. I don’t want to waste time pretending that I know.
I hope you will do the same today. No matter how much or how little is before you, and no matter how much or how little you actually get done today, may you be led by the Spirit of God, and may you lay to rest everything that He does not lead you to see fulfilled in these hours you’ve been given.
May you seek His face, and may you see what He sees, as He leads you on the scenic route of your life today. We’ve missed far too many fields of flowers in our busyness, I believe. So let Him lead you to the roses, and then slow down long enough to stop awhile and breathe in their beauty and fragrance. Practice long pauses full of His presence, and trust that what it all boils down to is not the work, but the presence in the work. Drink from the wells He leads you to, and experience the refreshment of life lived in the shadow of His deep love and care.
And I bet tomorrow’s mountain won’t look so ominous and threatening, even if it be surrounded by another cloud!