A TIME AND A WAY
Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right.
All week I have been delighting in the rally cry of women wanting what I want— to catch our breath and choose to “to slow down, to do life better… to intentionally take more time to engage.”
And all week I have been hearing about how you’re doing it, this challenge to “refuse to rush through our days leaving our people neglected and our souls depleted.”
And I’ve been taking notes, learning from women who, like me, find themselves rushing relentlessly through their days yet looking back and wondering what in the world we’ve done with those 16 hours of wakefulness.
Then this morning, as I walked along the gravel path that leads to my cabin in the woods behind Firwood Cottage, I had that uncanny sense that God was about to teach me things. Things about doing life well and wisely, about living a no rush life— on purpose.
And He did.
Because, girls, God speaks. In fact, I have come to see that He delights in speaking into the dailiness of our lives. As if building nations and stopping epidemics and saving people is not enough… He actually waits to be invited to sit next to us as we plan our days.
He says just that in Psalm 37v 23:
“The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD.
He delights in every details of their lives.”
And when I do, when I invite Him in and “commit everything I do to the LORD, trusting Him” (v 5), He actually gets involved in those details of my life and starts directing my day.
Can you believe that?!
The crazy thing is how often I don’t bother. I don’t bother Him and I don’t bother me long enough to scoot over while I’m making my lists and ask Him what I’m actually supposed to do. Today.
I remember when Matt was just a little boy of about four. John Mark would have been 16 and rarely home, Bekah about 14, and busy with her horse, Elizabeth 11, and living every spare moment at the barn with Bekah.
The first words out of Matt’s mouth every morning were, Where is everybody? Meaning, of course, John Mark, Bekah, Elizabeth, and Dad because those were the people that mattered most to Matt, the ones who held the happiness of his days. What he really wanted to know was not so much where they were but when they were coming home to play with him. Ah, the spoils of being the baby in a big family!
But then, every morning, Matt asked question # 2:
Mom, what’s the plan for today?
And I wonder if that isn’t how the Father wishes we would start our days.
Abba, what’s the plan for this day?
I think that’s what Jesus did. I think Jesus woke up every morning and asked His father to plan His days, to direct His steps, to manage every moment of His life.
I suspect this may be why Jesus managed to pack everything that needed doing into a life that ended at the age of 33. And why He managed to say, “I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do.” John 17v4
Everything You gave me to do…
What might that look like for us— women working hard to get it all done, stretched between the tension of tasks and relationships?
How do we do— everyday— those everythings the Father gives us to do?
How do we live a No Rush Life and still be able to utter those three words Jesus said on the Cross:
It is finished.
And about now you’re thinking I’ll have a list. Because I love lists. Because lists are cross-off-able. Because I live my days guided by my list.
Or you’re thinking I’ll offer you— free!— an app or a program or a sure-fire way to live efficiently and effortlessly for just $9.99 per month.
And I might have done that last week. Except that less than a week ago while I was writing the ideas for No Rush November, a woman I know wasn’t feeling well. Just tired and flu-ish and generally not great, she went to the doctor to see what he might prescribe to perk her up. Vitamins? Exercise? Hormones? Something she could take to feel better quickly so she could get on with the rush of real life with kids at home and a business to help run.
Only the doctor didn’t give her vitamins or tell her to move more. Instead, he admitted her to the hospital with a diagnosis of acute leukemia.
While we do No Rush November, this mother, wife, business partner, home manager, list maker, will spend the next 30 days in the hospital being blasted with radiation.
Who plans for that?
No time to clean her house first. No chance to stock the freezer with meals for her family. Or get her hair cut or do that errand that didn’t get done, or let her clients know that she’ll be out for a while…
And I wonder. Does any of that matter to her now? The list sitting on her desk that won’t get done— does she care? Or is she so enmeshed in the fight to live to see her children grow up that she’s ceased to fret about all the stuff that keeps the rest of us rushing?
Her story is changing the way I look at today. Her fight to live is reminding me that I have no idea what next month will bring. And I’m not writing bucket lists, nor am I pulling out the bucket to wash my windows lest anyone notice how hard they are to see through… instead, I am doing what Jesus did and I invite you to do it too.
For every day of No Rush November, I will ask God to order my days.
I will pray what Moses prayed when he felt overwhelmed by a list too big to accomplish and a job too fraught with interruptions to get enough done:
“ So teach us to number our days
that we might present to Thee
a heart of wisdom.”
I will invite the Father to order every day and every week. Then I will ask Him, “what’s the plan?” as I pull out my calendar to look at next month… and next year.
And while I’m praying and planning, I will remember that The Plan is not all about me… but it is all about Him. And so I will pray along the lines of Jesus too:
“… not my will but Yours be done”. Luke 22v42
And that, am convinced, is the way to live an unrushed life.
From my heart,
P.S. I’ve read your words on Facebook, laughed with you on the @hespeaksinthesilence Instagram, signed deeply at your pictures on #norushnovember. Thank you for those, I am learning from you. Please keep it coming! And fill up the comments too—we need to learn with each other.
When I asked the Lord what I can do for this woman I barely know, I heard Him again: pray.
Pray every day. Pray when you wake up at night. Pray one your way to whatever it is you’re rushing off to. Just pray.
And so I am. I hope you will too, though I’m not sure she’s appreciate her name being blasted all over the internet. You don’t need to know her name to know that she needs us to beseech the Father for healing.