How can I get this done? Where will I get the time for that? How should I use this money or talent that I have? Have you asked God these questions? Often, such questions are anchored in the requirement to trust God
And sometimes trusting God can be both challenging & frustrating! I’m in Cambodia for a super quick trip. This morning I was trying to figure out all of the moving parts for today, since my flight leaves tonight. I couldn’t make everything I needed to accomplish today, fit into a schedule. So I decided to trust God when I left the hotel this morning & I’m pleasantly surprised at how well God has put together this day!!
Trusting God can be a daily & even an hourly discipline, based on Proverbs 22:19. And this trust is an essential ingredient to a closer walk with God!
I don’t like things that slow me down – cars, lines, crowds, etc.So when things get in my way, I instinctually lock into the persist & overcome mindset.For example, when a car in front of me drives slowly, I look for ways to get around the car. Sometimes, this backfires because my speeding up can position me to get a traffic ticket, which is worse than having to drive slower.
With this thinking, we would be wise to not entirely dismiss things that are obstacles. We see this principle in the Bible in relation to Joseph getting thrown into a pit & prison. Clearly, these challenges weren’t pleasant & I’d wager that Joseph was looking for a shortcut or way to circumvent these obstacles. In hindsight, however, the obstacles & hindrances were very useful to his end destination. And there’s a good chance that the same could be true for us. The obstacles in our lives become instruments in God’s hands 🙂
If the truth be told, I need deadlines because I’m too proficient with procrastination. So while I don’t like the feelings associated with the word, “now” I value the associated urgency that helps me to get stuff done. There’s also a challenge to the word “now”, when there’s an anticipation of an upcoming event or deadline. These thoughts are related to the timing of stuff – in the future or immediacy of the present.
When we walk with the Holy Spirit, let’s stay flexible in our thoughts about timelines, what needs to be accomplished today & stuff that’s upcoming. Remember that the Holy Spirit is present in every “now.”
I desperately want to be led by the Holy Spirit, in every area of my life – my decisions, conversations, priorities, relationships, etc. If I’m honest, however, sometimes I’m more driven than directed.
For me, here are some key indicators that I’m being flesh driven rather than Spirit led:
my flesh tends to dictate my actions.
my perspective gets very self-absorbed.
I can be more results oriented than relationship attentive – achievements become more important than connecting with people.
Fear often dilutes any expression of genuine love from me.
I become more consumer minded rather than thinking how to be generous.
Let’s be careful that we stay in Step with the Spirit & not controlled by our flesh 🙂
Be sure to pre-order my newest book about how to stay In Step with the Holy Spirit!
I tend to run in the red zone. This means that I try to squeeze the most out of my time, energy, money, talents & attention. Generally, I’ve thought this has been a good way to do life. If a person wants to achieve a lot, suck out the marrow of life & choke on the bone, maybe even burn out, then FULL CHARGE ON!!!
But I’m beginning to see the importance of margin, or breathing room. Margin gives us space to think, recover, listen & be with the Holy Spirit. If you think about it, Adam’s first day of existence was God’s day of rest. Perhaps it’s in the margins & rest where we can experience the deepest intimacy & fellowship with the Holy Spirit, just maybe 🙂
Alas, I’m sitting on the floor of the DMV again so there are no thrills & chills here at the moment. My number is 101 & they just called number 75, so it’s going to be awhile but I’ll keep this blog pithy 🙂
I like quick projects & exciting experiences. But it seems to me that life is more about the long-term outcomes than the short thrills & shallow frills. Here are some good things to consider about thinking in more long-term outcomes:
Steady effort creates habits which reinforce endurance
Repetition is a necessary ingredient for excellence
Muscle memory – this happens when we do things repeatedly & it gives us the freedom to learn more things
Incremental progress often lasts longer than speedy results
Let patience have her perfect work that you may be mature & complete #nuffsaid
You and I probably try to do alot of things – maybe too many on any given day. But regardless of whatever day it is, we all have things to accomplish and checklists to plow through. Here are a few pointers that have helped me to be productive & I still need to learn LOTS more:
stay focused – being distracted is the enemy of getting the important things done
make a daily list of no more than 5 things to attempt with your highest priorities at the top of the list
be efficient with your time – make errands based on geographical proximities rather than by topics (put things that are close together on the same errand)
maximize the small pockets of time (waiting in the carpool line, an dr’s appointment that goes late)
delegate – getting your kids to help can be super helpful
ask God to help you to be efficient and productive
send random and kind text messages – it’s good for everyone including you 🙂
What else have you found helpful in being productive? Please share your wisdom, insights & help!