The fall season always begins with a web of decisions. We face the multitude of options and consider which programs to be involved in at our local church, where to volunteer, and parents consider which activities their kids will be involved in. Our time, a commodity, dispensed across a calendar.
It’s overwhelming, especially coming out of a summer season without schedules and routines.
Part of what makes it difficult is the constraint of time - we can't do everything. As much as we'd like, the Lord gives us 24 hours in each day to guard and keep for His use.
Then, each opportunity we say no to, we feel guilty, as if we should've said yes in order to please others, or to fit in with what everyone else is doing.
The options are plentiful, there's always something more to do, the same way there's always a chorus of crickets chirping in the evening light.
How do we respond with the pressure of decisions on our time?
Gazing on Our Savior
Scripture teaches us Jesus knows our weaknesses and he's been tempted, just as we are. In all the asks for our time, we may be tempted toward achievements and accomplishments, or to withdraw and hold our gifts in our own hands. Unravelling our own personal tendencies is important as we discern best choices from good ones, balancing God's gifts given us for His use with faithful stewardship of our time.
He also knows what it's like to continually face a multitude of needs, the physical needs of the sick brought to him, the spiritual needs of the crowds following him, or those of his disciples as they sought greater understanding.
We're not alone in facing the chorus of need, which gives us peace and comfort. So just as Jesus prioritized his time to withdraw and pray, we follow His example to discern the next steps we take by seeking the will of the Father.
Surrendering to Our Savior
One sister was busy in the kitchen, exhausted with the role of hostess and needed an extra set of hands to get things done - looking for just a little help from the sister sitting at Jesus' feet.
But one sister wasn't anxious or troubled, she chose her place wisely.
The peace we're looking for won't be found in keeping busy for the sake of busyness. It also won't come from hiding our gifts or withholding our glad service.
But it will come as we surrender every slot on our calendar to the Lord, that He would continue to work in us and through us for His glory.
He may lead us toward something new, maybe something that's hard and other times we aren't sure it will be worth it - whether His leadings are a yes or a no. But Colossians 3:17 reminds us, "whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Our faithfulness to the Lord is practiced through the everyday discomfort of decision-making and as we learn and grow in each of them.
My prayer for us is, "that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 1:11-12).