Last week we talked here about making a list; actually about splitting your list in three so as not to frustrate yourself.
However, what about those times that you are frustrated trying to get even the very basic “must dos” of your day? After all, making a list and following it is such an effective time management, “get-it-done” tool, right?
What I want to caution you against again is letting that list be your master, and allowing it to dictate your mood as you see each day what you have and have not crossed off.
And remember, although the list serves as a guide, there are times when God will be diverting you from the tasks on paper and asking you to perform something more important for him. The key is recognizing when the interruptions in your day were sent by God for you to respond too.
Perhaps he wants you to walk away from your list and tend to something he feels is more important. When I have had days like that myself, I have trained myself to do the following. (Hang with me on this one!)
When I have not gotten to the items there in black and white on my list because God sent a sick child, a wounded friend or lonely neighbor to my side, I have actually, at the end of the day, taken a red pen and in large letters written “Hold a sick child, comforting him and supplying him with Popsicles ALL OTHER TASKS TEMPORARILY ON DIVINE HOLD.”
I try to imagine it as the hand of God. He is diverting me from my lowly plan A to his perfect plan B for my day. I trust that the time to finish what I wanted to do (or thought I needed to do) will be given later. More often than not, I am actually pleased with the way things turn out.
Perhaps I had set aside and entire six hour block to write while my boys go to their friend’s farm for the day to hunt. Instead, Spencer wakes up with a spiked temp and the coughing, creepin’ crud.
Now, I could fume and fuss and let it entirely ruin my day.
Or I could choose instead to say, “Thank you Lord!! Must be you knew I’d have writers block today. What time I almost wasted! Even though I planned to write and had really looked forward to it—just me, my laptop, a Weight Watcher’s pizza and a pumpkin spice cappuccino—, I’ll trust that for today, you have reason for me to care for my child.”
Now please, sometimes the above sentence is not uttered in the sweetest of tones. But I have learned over the years that it does no good to stew all day about the loss of my time. As my husband will say, “It didn’t surprise God!” He knew what interruption would come, what delay I’d experience and truth be told, he allowed it for my good.
So the answer to the question, “Should I make out a list and follow it carefully?” is yes and no. Use it as a guide, but know when to set it aside. (No, I didn’t mean to rhyme!)
We have our lists, but God sometimes has a better “Plan B” for our days.
Watch for those divine interruptions.
Then, quiet your heart, and willingly embrace them.