How long is your to-do list? This time of year can bring us to tears, there is so much going on!
So Much to Do
I wish I could freeze time. My kids often debate about what superpower is coolest: flying, transporting, strength. Me? I wish I was that girl Evie from the ’80s show “Out of this World” and could just put my fingers together to stop the clock from running, then clap when I want it to start again. Things to learn, articles to write, dishes to wash, games to play, prayer to pray, sweat to make, e-mails, closets, laundry … not to mention all the people I want to lavish time upon. And I really want to do them all – even the laundry and the dishes. But time seems to be going faster and I am less efficient than ever, even as I have more discretionary hours.
Little Ones Change Our Perspective
Today I had the privilege of substituting in a life-transition program for older teens in need of help with daily functioning. We helped them remember to look both ways before they cross the street, estimate enough time to get to the bus stop, count out the right change for the cashier. While I was helping a good-hearted 20-year-old decide which toy to buy at the Dollar Tree, I saw a notepad that said, “Having faith in God also means trusting his timing.”
When I am with these older, special-needs teens who spend their time folding napkins and shredding paper, I am forced to let go of the swirling wishes to do more, more, more. I am forced to put away my phone. The time they dedicate to simple tasks makes me let go. It seems that God’s voice which brings proper perspective comes beautifully through the presence of his little ones, whether it be a toddler hankering for attention, a down syndrome grocery store employee singing while bagging or a frail senior shuffling with a walker to her car.
4 Tips for Trust in the Midst of Time
What is the key to that kind of trust which puts to flight the fear and anxiety of the “go-go-go”?
- Be with people. Have you ever noticed that when you are laughing with friends, all the fears and worries that were creeping up on you earlier seem manageable? A hug, a smile, holding hands — all bring camaraderie to us in the fray. Likewise, when we begin to let the person’s presence affect us and we allow ourselves to really be with and take notice of a good person, we realize that God is here.
- See your life from various perspectives. Going on a trip or a night out for dinner or a visit to a friend’s house can sometimes shake up our perspectives enough that we can trust more freely. However, sometimes that trust needs to happen right in the middle of a frenetic moment. Imagine that you are in an airplane, looking down at where you are right now. Or that you are an ant glancing up at yourself. A quick change in perspective can really loosen the grip of time-based anxiety. Also, try imagining that you look back on this moment a year from now, or even from Heaven.
- Experience nature. Walking barefoot in the grass, going for a hike, or swimming in a lake all connect us to the natural work of God in His constant act of creating and sustaining. Even a momentary glance up at the clouds swirling overhead in the sky can help you to be more open to trust.
- Make a consistent “quiet time.” When you carve out time for reading Scripture, personal prayer, going to adoration or just resting in God’s presence, you are acknowledging the primacy of a Sabbath worship that is not slave to anything on this world. You can carry that freedom with you throughout the day.
Yes, Lord, I will trust in Your timing. In many senses. I will trust in You during the fast-paced times. I will trust in You when I can’t even get done 1% of what I wanted to do in a day. I will trust You when I am slow. I will trust You with my dreams, desires, and to-do-list expectations. I will look to Your saints and to Your children to show me the way. Time is Yours. Do as You please. Let me please You as I do what I can.
Copyright 2019 Carrie Soukup