When was the last time your schedule was full?
I can pretty safely say that, except for two short trips to a college campus to move a child out and then back in again, my schedule has been open for almost six months.
I’m not working outside the home, I’m purposely not going out where there are lots of people any more than I need to, and I have no social calendar.
So after last week’s post, I was really looking forward to time entering into God’s presence and praying for you, whoever and wherever you are.
I don’t know about you, but since COVID quarantine started I have felt like I was in limbo. I look at the new month on the calendar, and the only things on it are 2 birthdays and an anniversary, and a few health related appointments.
I feel like I don’t have the liberty to plan things more than a couple weeks ahead.
Who knows what the COVID prognosis will be even tomorrow. The level of emergency we are in could change daily. So how can anyone make any kind of solid plans?
Think about the end of last year, say in that week between Christmas and New Year’s when you start thinking about things you might like to accomplish in the next year. You plot out, at least in your mind, steps to take to get from point A to point B in your goals, and depending on how your mind works you may even make detailed lists of your plan of action.
I love making the lists. But for me, that’s fulfilling enough, just to think it through and write out what could happen if I did this and that.
Actually doing the this and that is much less interesting.
But even for a blowin’ in the wind kind of person like me, the futility of planning too far ahead has been unsettling.
For the first couple months of COVID sheltering at home, Dear Husband was recovering from a hip replacement, so I had already planned to be a homebody for a while. What I hadn’t planned on was life coming to a screeching halt.
A job that I had cheerfully worked for more that 14 years went away for now. Church went to online. Celebrate Recovery stopped meeting in person, and it was a couple months until I could get headphones and join the online meetings.
Anything in-person was canceled, and the things that went online were just not the same.
But here’s the thing. There was no point in trying to schedule anything for months. The rhythm of life got its legs knocked out from under it.
Doctors offices called to cancel or reschedule visits over the phone. All of a sudden it wasn’t as important to visit the dentist twice a year. School went online, and graduations were drastically different.
As we headed into the summer a passage in scripture kept going through my mind. James 4: 13-15.(NLT)
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”
When I was growing up all the lovely older people at church would say as their exit line, “Lord willing I’ll see you again soon.”
I thought it was just a saying for many years. Until people I loved died. Then I thought about it more.
And in the last six months I’ve honestly thought about it a lot. Because it doesn’t matter what I want or what my will would like me to do.
It’s all about God’s will.
If there is one big lesson I’ve learned during COVID it’s that I am powerless to control much of anything going on in the world right now.
I’m sure that thought scares some people to death!
It’s a good thing I have more than five years of recovery under my belt, because that’s one of the first things I became reconciled to. (And it only took me a couple of years!)
Principle One of the Eight Recovery Principles states it pretty clearly:
Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)
“Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.” Matthew 5:3a TEV
I am so thankful that I’ve already come to an intimate knowledge of how destitute I am without Jesus! Because if I hadn’t, I think I would be even more worried and anxious and frustrated and bored than I am now.
But just because I know I don’t have the power to change the world around me, I can choose to change my expectations.
I don’t need to have that power, because I am a grateful follower of Jesus Christ, and HE has all the power this world needs to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
And so as I think about you all this week, I’d like you to know that I will be praying that if you don’t already, you will come to know Jesus. He is the only friend who will never let you down.
Because he already laid down his life for you. And for me.
Even when we were all still busy sinning.
So as you come to mind, I will be praying God’s word for you, because HIS word never comes back void.
It’s not a very long-term plan, but it’s a step towards getting back into the rhythm of living.
And, if the Lord wants me to do it, this is something worth adding to my calendar.