THIS SERIES: KICK THE WORRY HABIT
Modern trend-setters tend to judge people by the busyness of their diaries—those who are crowded out are deemed the successful ones, multi-tasking is heralded as a must-have accomplishment; and so we end up with ‘to do’ lists which make us sweat just to read them.
What do we do about the time pressure so many of us experience?
One of my favourite verses is in Ecclesiastes:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…
He has made everything beautiful in its time…
Sometimes we get stressed and worried because we are just trying to shoehorn far too much into our days; and sometimes we have the right activity, but the right time for it hasn’t arrived yet. So maybe the first thing we need to do to stop worrying about our ‘to do’ list is prune or postpone…
John Wesley offered some great advice, which I am trying to put into practice:
"Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry, because I never undertake any more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of Spirit."
MORE THAN ENOUGH
And then there’s the stuff which crops up to mess up our plans—revised work schedules, unexpected visitors, power cuts, internet issues—trifling things which aren’t front page news, but are enough to throw us off-course. Our time is such a precious resource, and we often feel we could spend it several times over, so when things occur to upset our carefully laid plans, worry sets in.
But time is a created thing—and we are fortunate enough to know its Maker. And our Father has promised to supply all that we need for every good work, and that includes the time we need:
God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times,
having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
[2 Corinthians 9:8]
When I’m time-challenged I have to make a choice between sinking into panic or putting my trust in God my Provider. (I don’t always make the right choice straight way—but I’m learning…) And I have learned that if I look to Him, the God of abundance will give me more than enough of what I need—including time.
I have been in many situations where I have found that time has ‘stretched’ somehow. I have completed journeys—legally and safely; made appointments and fulfilled assignments in ridiculously short periods—I can’t explain how, except that God is faithful!
And I also need to know that He works all things for the good of those who love him [Romans 8:28].
All things—the unexpected interruptions… all things—equipment breakdown… all things—family crises… all the things which crop up to spoil my best-laid plans, and ‘steal’ my time.
If I choose to trust Him, the annoyances which could easily trip me up become a means of grace—an opportunity to see His hand in my affairs.
If I really believe this, I can then give thanks that He is able to redeem all the details of my life. If I choose to trust Him, the annoyances and delays which could easily trip me up become a means of grace—an opportunity to see His hand in my affairs. Instead of worry, I can let expectation rise: I wonder how He’s going to work this one out…?
He who sacrifices thank-offerings honours Me,
and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.
[Psalm 50: 23]
7. STOP STRIVING, START BELIEVING
I have a choice to make: I can choose to lift the weight alone, or…
GET IN TOUCH!
[Photo credits: My Profit Tutor (diary; Aron Visuals (sand-timer); Brett Jordan (mail icon) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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