The world is moving at a super nova speed all day long and it seems to never end. How do you keep up with the mad house that is called “your life?” Think about a very busy factory with all the hustle, bustle, and noise that happens when all the factory workers are there. To the untrained person it could become overwhelming. That may be how others see you and maybe see their own lives. This is not normal, even though it may seem so for you. For the sake of your own health and sanity you need a down time to be refreshed. Just sleeping at night will not complete the process…you need to take care of yourself. I don’t believe God made us to be on constant RUN MODE.
I, personally, am a list maker, to help get the thoughts out of my head so I can move on to the next task at hand. The only problem with my lists was they got so long and involved…I WAS DEPRESSED. The reason for the depression was I knew I would never accomplish anything that was on the list. How do you handle the multitude of duties in your life? When it came to my lists, I tried different ways, such as: write everything down, write everything down but in categories, putting duties on the calendar and highlight specific tasks for specific jobs. You end up with a very colorful calendar and to my eye it looked a mess which didn’t help to organize my thoughts. It made it even more cluttered in my mind. I even tried putting the different tasks on post-a-notes and sticking them to my desk. At least, I thought, as I finished a task I could see myself removing the note and throwing it away because at least one item was done. Did any of this make me more efficient or give me the feeling of getting something done? NO. With my lists, notes, categories, and even sticky notes, I was still a frustrated, overwhelmed, and over worked wife, mother, and business owner. Understand that the lists did not cover even the everyday duties of living. My life was a long assembly line that kept going and going and going without any end in sight.
I had one very unpractical solution to my problem…if I stayed up for 24 hours a day for 4 weeks maybe I could get a few things finally off my list. Talk about an impractical and unhealthy way of dealing with your life. That thought flew out of my head as quickly as it had popped in.
We all have a false idea that whatever we can’t complete today we can deal with tomorrow…yeah right! For some reason I had this idea that I was indispensable, like at my job. I remember when my husband would be sick. He felt like if he didn’t go to work, the company would not be able to function without him. I know in tough times or not you need to always do your best, because there will always be someone else out there willing to do the job. God wants you to take care of yourself. He made you to work to the best of your abilities but He also told you there is a time for rest. God’s Word says, “God my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessings. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”
Now it’s that time of the day for that blessed rest and renewal of your body and spirit. You already know that when you awaken the next morning, your energy will be renewed and you will be ready for the new day. I want you to consider something that could be a reality for you…THE NEXT MORNING NEVER COMES! My father was one such man! He was told in his forties that he would not live long because of a lung disease. He had surgery to remove the disease but the doctors were unable to remove all of the infected tissue. He was told that one day he would feel a sharp pain and it would be over. I remember growing up with the thought that I may not see my beloved father the next day. Can you even imagine growing up with that constant unknown? That was my life. I never let a moment go by that I didn’t tell him how much I loved him, especially before I went to bed every night.
Dad was always thankful when he woke the next morning. He would say, “Thank you God for giving me another chance to influence others towards You.” This, and that special time at night became a tradition and he and I loved; that daily ‘one special moment’ together. I remember my mother told me months after I was married, the first night my father wandered around the house looking for me. You have to realize our tradition had been going on since I was 8 years old. Even though I was married, anytime my parents came for a visit, Dad and I went back to our tradition. I would tiptoe into his room, even though he may be asleep and give him a hug, kiss, and tell him I loved him. When it comes my time to join my family in heaven I will still be tiptoeing up to him to tell him how much I love him. I can’t wait for that joyous reunion and the chance to see him again, but this time when I see him, he will be that healthy, young, vibrant man I never had the privilege of knowing: my father, Adolph Syvert Odegaard.
I was considering something not long ago, about my many lists or attempts at staying organized, and started thinking about what would God want me to do? About that same time I heard a discussion about doing “God’s List” instead of mine. I wondered if that could really work and what about everything I had to do? Could I actually get things done on my list? Or was God’s list going to consist mainly of studying His Word, prayer, and witnessing? This was something to ponder and ask God what He would have me do. It couldn’t be any worse than what I was doing, because I was getting nowhere fast. Why not try God’s List?!
I’ll tell you the biggest relief for me is knowing that I am doing God’s list. Now the pressure is off because I know He will help me get it done…it is awesome. With His list I always accomplish what I am supposed to and feel blessed with the completion of the tasks. When days don’t work and everything goes really wrong is when, once again, I try and do it my way. Every time my thinking goes that way…I mess it up. You would think by now I would have learned my lesson, but I guess not because I have to revisit it many times. Try God’s way and see how you feel about it…I love it and I am more willing to even get into the jobs I don’t like doing because I know God will be there to help me.
There is a very important step to doing God’s List…you need to be listening to Him moment-by-moment. Remember that your past is done…there is nothing you can do about that. The future is unknown…you can have goals and visions but the future has not been written yet. You only have this one moment in time. Doesn’t moment-by-moment sound a lot less stressful? Asking God for His direction every moment of every day is what I want for the rest of my life. It is like having a constant conversation with a dear and trusted friend. It is a wonderful feeling.
Here is another realization…God’s moment is the medicine for a lousy day…doesn’t that sound refreshing? I want God to take control of my day. I know He can do it and I am willing to trust that He knows what is best for me and will protect me from any wrong doings. You may be thinking that God really doesn’t get involved with every aspect of your life. Yes, He does, and I have seen it over and over again. It is not a co-incidence…it is the real deal. Your faith needs to tell you what is God and what is not. Remember the enemy, satan knows the Scriptures as well as God and is always trying to get you to turn away from God’s leading. Stay strong in your faith and know that God is who He says He is and you can count on it. The Word says, U“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
My last thought on this subject is what a wonderful God we have that can create the wonders in our life. Don’t you want that? Living a moment-by-moment life with God will leave you in awe and wonder at how He can help you with the simplest thing. Did you know that God is a God of detail and that He guarantees to help us? God’s Word says, “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with nothing, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, or course of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail!”
When I am at the ocean shores I am reminded of the majesty of God. Every detail is covered from what the ocean’s job is to the point of the beauty of the colors and how the waves, sand, wind, everything knows its part of the whole and knows that in completing its part, everything will be to God’s design. The results are a beautiful and peaceful ocean scene that will soothe any troubled or jangled spirit. You can experience that peace with God. Instead of being on the super nova train of life, God will give you the time to rest and turn all your worries and moments over to Him. He’s waiting for your decision.
What a beautiful life God has planned for you. Not one of fear and anxiety but one of JOY and pleasure as you follow His path.
Psalm 23 (The Message)
Romans 1:20 (NIV)
James 5:11 (The Message)