I had my day all planned. I had very important things to do. My list was made, my time was scheduled and I was ready to go. But then a very important little thing had a crisis. As I was trying to patiently help her, allowing her to, “do it herself,” the minutes ticked by in my mind. I could feel the stress building as I thought about whether I was still going to have enough time in my day to accomplish my work.
Then I heard a still, small voice from God saying, “this is your work today, I will take care of all of the other things you think are so important.” I felt myself beginning to relax a little. After all, of course my daughter is more important than my to-do list. However, it seems I constantly have to battle to prioritize between doing for people and being with people, especially my children.
Let’s face it, kids really, and I mean really, don’t care if the house is spotless. My teenagers would rather talk with me, usually at midnight. My “tweens” would rather have me listen to a million facts that I never knew and to be honest, am not that interested in. My littles would rather have me read them their favorite book over and over again as they ask question after question about the story.
And it doesn’t change as people get older. As grateful as people are when we do things for them, what most people really want is for someone to listen to them. If I make my schedule too tight, that can leave out the time I might need to chat with the lonely elderly lady at the grocery store. It might make me more stressed out than friendly to the bank teller. And it definitely doesn’t leave me any time for the unexpected call from a friend going through a tough time.
I have heard this described as having “margins” in our lives, those spaces in between, where God can speak or show up. In our fast-paced culture, we are not very good at this. There is always something to fill our time and if nothing else is going on, we pull out our phones! Ironically, it can take some planning to have unplanned time in our days.
Jesus was so good at having margins. It didn’t matter how many crowds were pressing, He always had time for what was important, or rather who was important. The gospels are full of stories of Jesus having interactions with people the world did not view as important. I don’t know about you, but I know my schedule is not more imperative than Jesus’ was!
So I have decided I am going to be more deliberate to plan unplanned time. To put some margins in my life. To focus on the important little things. In short, to try to live a little more like Jesus did. Will you join me?
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34