It took me less than a week at my new job to have a long string of “unproductive days” behind me. In fact, the day that I started the computers and the internet were down the entire day. Naturally, being the list-making person I am, I sat down and made a list of all the things to accomplish in the coming weeks. It wasn’t long after that that the list began to grow and very few things ever got crossed off. It also didn’t take long for me go home at the end of the day frustrated that (next to) nothing got done on my list.
We all have days like that, days when we set out to accomplish a million things and only a few of those things ever get done. This doesn’t happen for lack of trying, but other things often come up. At work I’d get called down to the front desk, parents would call to ask questions about registrations, or other staff members would need to see me about one thing or another. After a particularly long day of nothing much getting done I sat down to reflect on it all and realized that my to-do list and God’s to-do list for that day were very different. Perhaps I got nothing done that I wanted to get done, but I fully believe that God got things done that day. Every time I got called to the front desk I had to stop what I was doing and talk to a parent. While I may not have gotten my tasks done, spending time with those parents and answering all of their questions was exactly where God needed me.
This same principle applies to life beyond my office walls, and to all of our lives. Even on my days off I have a list of things I want to get done, catch up on, or errands that need to be run. Lately I’m finding that less and less of “my” things get done. Instead I seem to be spending my time with people, catching up on life or meeting them wherever they are at. Whether it is catching up with my family after dinner, driving to have coffee with a friend, or calling a friend until the wee hours of the night, things are getting done. Perhaps then it is time for a mental readjustment. Instead of focusing so intensely on what I want (or “need”) to get done, I should spend some time focused on what God needs me to get done. Where does He want you today? Does He need you to do the laundry? Great, get it done! Does He need you to let the laundry pile up another day so that you can catch up with your sister who really just needs to talk? Be there for her!
Here’s my point: even if we’re not crossing things off of our to-do list, God is using each of us to cross things off of His. Be His hands and feet.
“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-12, 14-15