Happy New Year’s Eve! Are you sighing with relief that 2012 is almost over?
For many of you this has been a trying month, or maybe a difficult year. Perhaps you are anxious for the new beginning tomorrow brings. Hoping that 2013 will somehow be different. It might, but I’ve found the reasons for many of my problems starts with me, so I just tend to carry them over from one year to the next without some serious attention.
Today I’ve got a devotion running on Encouragement of Today about one of those problem … and that’s hurry, and the stress it has caused in my life. For many years I rushed from one task to the next, usually late and annoyed when everyone around me didn’t fall in line with my plans. Especially my three little boys, who were a daily challenge to get moving in the same direction – unless it was running down the aisle in the grocery store … away from me.
The bottom line was my responsibilities outweighed my capacity to manage them. Every day was an exercise in frustration – at myself, my home, husband and children. So I was always pushing the limits of what I could get done in my allotted time, and usually thinking one of these thoughts:
- Why couldn’t anyone get it together!!
- Why didn’t the demands stop?
- Why did everyone NEED me so much!
I even got annoyed at the dentist’s office when I was rushing to an appointment … as if it was their fault my children’s teeth needed cleaning.
Hurry made me feel like a victim!! It made me feel like a slave to something (an out-of-control schedule, to-do list, appointments, etc), which is what Satan wanted me to believe.
Hurry steals the fruit of the Spirit from our life, like joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control. But if hurry is an attitude of the heart – which is what I proposed in my devotion –then I knew I needed to make a decision to choose what matters most when I felt hurry start to well up in me.
In John 10:9-11 Jesus says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Jesus offers us the answer to a life that feels like it’s falling apart. Here’s how He modeled the cure for the hurried life every day: People over projects every time.
Oh, there are lots of time management tips I could give you today that would help you be on time. I could share with you a list of questions I ask myself that help me maintain a balanced schedule. But I promised in my devotion to share tips on eliminating hurry and this is the best one I can share today.
You see, when I’m more concerned with showing love to my family than on getting every errand checked off my list, then I’m able to be realistic about what I can get done.
When it’s more important that I’m kind to the grocery clerk rather than get through the line quickly, then I don’t mind the wait as much.
And if it matters more that I’m gracious to my family Sunday morning than that we get to church on time, then I model Jesus much more than if I was rushed and impatient.
Deciding to love the person in front of me more than my to-do list is the start of eliminating hurry from my life. It gives me perspective. It helps me stay balanced. It redefines my priorities on a daily basis. It also keeps me on time more than not as I choose to show up early so I can show love and honor to those around me.
Jesus was busy, but never in a hurry. That’s how I want to live my life as well.
Thanks so much for joining me today. And if you are interested in some tips for getting organized and better time management, I do have a book full of them!
In His Love,