Today, I am keenly interested in considering a subject that we all deal with — managing our time. For some of us, it seems as though time manages us; for others, we are glued to our calendars and our calendars are the driving force in managing our time. I would like to propose that managing our time is not the key issue in helping us stay stress-free. For those of us who are intentional about making space for God as our primary goal, there is a transfer of time to God; allowing Him to lead, guide and direct our days. I have heard it said that sometimes Christians are so spiritual they are no earthly good. In other words, things like passing the buck of our time management on to God is a cop-out. It is a way of hitting the opt-out button. Too many balls in the air? Just let them fall to the ground. Overcommitted? Just do what you can and give up on the things left undone.
Now I have a serious question to ask you. Does it feel good to let balls drop to the ground? Does it feel good to allow life to just “happen” or can it be that putting time into the hands of an all-knowing God who leads us beside the still waters (Psalm 23) is a better reality? So what does it look like to have God manage our calendars?
I tried an experiment a few years ago and each morning gave my day and week to the Lord. I actually held up my iPhone calendar (Ical) and said this prayer: Lord, I give you my calendar. Remove those things that are not your plan and add those things that are. I did this for 6 months leaving both the appointments canceled and those added to my calendar. Over and over again, I began to see a pattern. My plans were disrupted. My plans were shifted into doing things that I had not anticipated and in each case, I could see the hand of God. Meeting people whose lives I impacted or vice versa. Finding unexpected time on my hands to do things that I sensed were significant. My life took on another life— a life led by the Holy Spirit. And the proof of this was seen on my calendar.
So why I am talking about time management this morning? The advent season is upon us. There are so many things we have to do to prepare for Christmas; buying and wrapping gifts, baking our traditional cookies, decorating our houses, perhaps going to Christmas shows and musicals. Now add these things to our already overcommitted lives, and pop… the lid comes off with stress spilling out.
The definition of advent is the arrival of a notable person, or event. For Christians, this is the celebration of the arrival/birth of Jesus Christ. It is also the first season of the Christian church year. But as secularism has infiltrated Christmas, it has become a time of racing around trying to get everything done.
How about joining me in giving God our calendars each day? Let’s start with the advent season, and hopefully, it will become our habit together as we make space for God. Offer to Him your day to be used as He sees fit. Take your list and checking it twice can be done with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I have been amazed at how my good plans have turned into His great plans.