Are you ever overwhelmed by the inability to get everything on your to-do list finished in the time you’ve set for it? That’s where I am right now, and it’s stressing me. A lot.
There’s clutter in my house to clean out, organization to restore, the new James e-book launch to plan, reviewers to solicit, the new website to be completed, blog posts to write, books my editor recommended to study, EDITS TO COMPLETE AND A PROPOSAL TO WRITE! If it looks like I’m shouting, it’s because that’s how I feel.
I had a perfect plan. Every task was scheduled and, had it happened as I expected, it would all be completed by now. I’d take today off to celebrate and, finally, to have that manicure I meant to have last month. Not so in my real world. Two different cornea problems, prolonged ice, snow, and temperatures in the single digits whacked chunks of time out of my schedule. Broken fence repairs took another big chunk of time, as well as most of my fingernails. On and on and on.
Life happens, but God is still in charge.
I might have forgotten that truth for a little while. My inability to get everything done has left me with an odd sense of foreboding, as if something terrible would result from my failure. I’m at that point where panic seems more comfortable than digging in and getting done.
Have you been in this crazy place before?
My friend sent me a verse this morning that stopped me in my tracks and made me take a closer look at my perceived problem.
“But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread…” Psalm 53:5 niv
That’s me. Overwhelmed with dread because I’m late, when there’s nothing to dread. Nothing at all. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ve seriously considered that question this morning and have arrived at a startling conclusion.
The worst thing that can happen from my current dilemma is a change in my plan. That’s it. No threat to national or personal security looms. No catastrophe to property, finances, or (more important) those I love is likely as a result. I simply need to readjust my plan.
It’s time to invite some perspective into my situation.
My stress is from a self-imposed, and unrealistic, schedule of tasks that do not have to be done in any certain order. The only deadline is mine.
If we’re honest, I’m not alone with this problem, am I? There’s a tendency to think our plan is best, assume our deadline is the right one, and our plan should be followed perfectly by all who have a part. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s nothing but self-centered pride in action.
This morning, I’ve recognized something vital. My plan isn’t working and, I’m sorry to say, that may be it’s because I’m not operating on God’s timetable. I’ve repented again and surrendered my will to His, because God’s way is always best. I’ve decided to re-order the to-do list and put the most important at the top, where it belongs. Everything else will fall into place, or it won’t.
Are we overwhelmed by life? Is our “plan” faltering? Failing? Does it feel as if the world won’t cooperate? Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at our hearts and our plans and surrender our will to His. Again.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 niv