I can feel the itch. The urge to purge my house is becoming irresistible. Every closet needs it, every cabinet, and every room – and for fear that I might tear up, let’s just not even mention the garage!
It’s amazing how quickly I can accumulate things that, in just a few months, I will throw out. What I thought I needed to purchase, I didn’t. What I thought I needed to keep, I shouldn’t have kept. But, the question that echoes in my mind this time every year and keeps me buried beneath mounds of stuff is: “What if I need it later?” And so, clothing that hasn’t hung on a body in years remains stored away in closets along with the other “just in case” items that crowd my home.
There is wisdom in being prepared. So, with that anthem as my song, I continue to wade through unnecessary, burdensome piles of stuff – but, very important, (maybe) one-day useful, stuff.
That logic spills over into my life in many areas. I’m up to my ears in tasks that need to be completed. I’m running from one appointment to the next, guilty that I’ve missed important moments with my kids and saddened that I haven’t had time to experience life with my husband. But, there’s this list to get done. You know the ever-important list filled with unending tasks that make an obstacle course out of life.
Is this what life is about? A list of tasks? Is life about a never-ending, chasing my tail kind of existence? Is it about the next appointment, the next activity, the next job?
Perhaps we are running in circles that were never meant to be run by us. We are not rats, after all. Why should we sign up for the rat race?
We were created for a purpose. That purpose involves the Creator. He longs for us to know and love Him. That longing in mirrored in our hearts. Only He can fill that longing.
If our schedules have crowded out our primary purpose of living, no wonder we collapse on our beds at night with hearts that still cry out, “It wasn’t done! I wasn’t successful! I need more!”
We do need more. But, not more tasks on our to-do list, not more clients or fame, not more money or wealth. We need more time with our Creator. We need that close, real relationship with Him if we are going to calm that cry of our hearts. Like the lungs need air, we need Him.
Fleeting thoughts of Him or lofty, creative statements about Him will not satisfy us. We need time alone with Him. We need moments of sincere, soul-searching prayer. We need to feed hungrily on His Word so that we can hear Him speak to us.
But, how can we do that with this never-ending, demanding list of tasks that swallow up the day before it begins? I have no seconds to give, much less minutes and hours in prayer. What am I to do?
It’s time to Spring Clean Our Schedules!
It’s true. If something is stealing our relationship with Christ, it is becoming an idol. It is becoming more important than God. We are trying to fill a spiritual need with physical success and activities.
Let’s evaluate what we can give up. I know, we don’t see anything we can give up.
Our kids are amazing at sports. But, if they become the best athletes in the world at the cost of a relationship with Christ, have they really become successful in life? (“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26)
We have bills and needs that overwhelm us. We cannot give up any time at work or our needs will not be met. But, if our physical needs are met and not our spiritual needs, have we really lived? God promises to provide for us both spiritually and physically if we will seek Him first. (Matthew 6:33)
I am not suggesting that we quit everything. We may not need to quit anything. I’m suggesting that we evaluate what we can give up in order to gain so much more.
We all know that spending time with the Lord brings peace, joy, and confidence. Time with Him makes us better at all the tasks on our long to-do list. When we spend time with Him, He will give us wisdom and help us choose the right things to put on the list – and help us see what we should take off. I, personally, have a tendency to put too much on my list, so He often leads me to take things off.
God has a MUCH better plan than we could dream up for ourselves. But, we need to ask Him about it. We need to ask Him what He wants us to give up. And then – the true test – will we do it?
Struggle with this idea. Wrestle with it. And then ask God to help you clean your schedule so that you will have time with Him.
When you do, the world won’t see you as another rat in the rat race of life. They will notice that you have spent time with God. And that is worth giving up the little things.
….they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.