When my husband comes home after work and asks me how my day was, I have noticed that my feelings towards my day often hinge on how closely the day lined up with my expectations. If I stayed on track while getting a lot done on my to-do list and knocking out a big project during my work time, then it was a good day. If my son didn’t nap and I got bogged down in responding to e-mails instead of working, then it wasn’t a good day. My feelings towards my day revolve around my productivity.
Recently when reading Because He Loves Me by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, a quote from her book just really jumped out at me:
“I know that none of us would just come right out and shout, ‘Stop meddling!’ at the Lord, but we frequently say it…my plan has become my god; I am an idolator. I worship my idea of a successful day, my right to decree how its every moment will go.” (128-29).
And oh, isn’t this so true? I do worship my plan for the day. I worship the to-do list I set in the morning. I worship my proficiency in accomplishing tasks on time. I worship my productivity in multi-tasking while playing with my child.
By the way I live my life each day, I am essentially telling the Lord to “stop meddling!"
I leave myself no room for the unexpected and no room for intentionality. But isn’t that what God calls us to throughout all of Scripture?
We’re called to be servants (not perfectionists). We are called to work faithfully for Him with all of our heart (not working for my to-do list). We are called to show hospitality and love others (not protecting my time to get my stuff done).
By running my life on proficiency, I am leaving no room for God to move.
I must allow margin in my schedule so that accomplishing tasks is not paramount to spending time with a friend who might need someone to listen. I must allow grace to abound when my son might need one-on-one attention for a huge part of a day that I feel justified in having “me time.” I must give room to decree this moment as God’s so that frustrations of going off schedule do not cause me to feel downright angry.
If we treasure the things of the kingdom, if our focus is on Christ in all we do, if we really focus on the goodness of God, our days can refocus on eternal glory, not productivity. We can see joy (because we see Jesus) even when things don’t go as planned.
Do you have a hard time centering your days (and your feelings toward your day) on productivity? How can you leave room for God today?