It was finally here. My special day.
A day that I was eagerly anticipating and looking forward to as a wife and mother.
A day bound to be filled with opportunity, joy, and glorious bliss.
A day that I was going to be home alone.
I smiled as I got out of bed, buzzing with energy. I had ten hours of uninterrupted time staring me in the face and I didn’t want to waste a moment of it. I had my list of things to do; most of it work, some of it play.
There was one oddity though; I had noticed that in the hours approaching The Day, my list had experienced growth due to new and pressing ideas that kept popping into my head and demanding a slot on the schedule. The number of items I was now looking to accomplish was fast approaching overwhelming status. Not one to be thrown off course easily, I reassured myself I’d be able to get it all done and still have time for chocolate and a nap.
I put the too-long list on the kitchen counter, convincing myself that I needed to set the perfect scene before I tackled any projects. I got my tea, checked my Facebook and Twitter, loaded my inbox with the morning’s email and left it open so I could do my daily communications.
I puttered, doodled, texted and Googled. I knew my list was sitting there, but it had gotten so big that with no structure to my day, I was clueless as to where to begin.
To be honest, the thought of it was starting to overwhelm me.
And it paralyzed me more than freed me.
I thought this was what days home alone were all about. Tackling projects, completing tasks, making pesky phone calls that I didn’t want to make any other day of the week. So what was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I knee deep into projects by now? Spackling and sanding and painting, oh my?
In the middle of questioning myself, I heard God’s still, small voice say emphatically in my head,
“It’s just a day; don’t make it your god.”
I stood stock still. In that moment, I saw what was happening.
I was making an idol out of my free time.
I was so busy worshiping the gift of a day that I was forgetting to worship the Giver. In my busy life, I had put this time up on a pedestal and expected it to meet all my I-haven’t-gotten-it-done-any-other-day-so-I’ll-get-it-all-done-today needs.
I saw that by allowing for an ever-growing agenda I was setting myself up for failure or, at the very least, disappointment in myself if and when I didn’t get it all done.
I asked God right then and there to forgive me. I saw the error of my free-time ways and I wanted to get things right before I went any further. God graciously heard me and answered, and in the end, everything was accomplished and I even had the chance to take a stab at some things that hadn’t even made the guest list. Looking back, I made a mental note to remember that when I do have some cherished hours alone, I need put thought into keeping my to-do list manageable and under control.
And I need to remember to worship God, not my day.
By Beth Coulton, A Writer’s Journey
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…this post was so timely, so glad you shared it here in this space! Thank you…
I’ve been there, thanks for the encouragement!
Mari Larkin says
Wow…did this hit home today. I’ve had this whole week planned to be alone and in about 2 days I am bored. No list, no plans, just down time. I have spent time alone with God, but mostly I whittle away at the computer. I have realized that I really don’t know what my heart really needs…just what I think I want. God knows much better than I do, so unless I go to Him first and ASK then how will I ever do His will?
Also too much of any one thing loses it’s enamor.
I think just dreaming about this week alone, I put it up on a pedestal too, like you did your day. I too need to remember to worship God not the day. God alone satisfies.
Thanks for this.
Lee E Van says
What a great post! I realize that this applies to a lot of other things we deal with. “It’s just _____, don’t make it your god”. I end up worrying and fretting about certain things, trying to make them work out perfectly – and your post addresses that. Don’t put _____ on a pedestal and make it a god. It’s just _________. Worship the One who gives you everything in life and don’t the actual things He gives.
Thanks so much for your words!
Jen Ferguson says
This is fabulous. You really put a name to what has happened to me. Often times there are really important things that don’t make it on my list and I would not know to do them unless I listened to the still, small whisper of my God.
Beth Williams says
I, too, enjoy time alone – but only in small doses. Without a list of things to accomplish, I can whittle away time at the computer easily – just playing games, reading Bible, doing e-mails & devotions.
I always try to seek God First Thing in morning – even on days off – that way I know what He wants me to accomplish that day – even if it is just a day of rest for my body & health!!
I’ve done that so many times! Thanks for sharing – reminding me of what I’m worshiping!
Terry P. says
Thank you, Beth. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day is a gift from God – Oh, that we would learn to praise Him and glory Him first, then surrender our day to Him. Since I use to be a list person, I’ve too had to learn that lesson and was frustated many time when “things” were not accomplished! Isn’t He wonderful that HE loves us so much and is so patient with us while we learn another valueable lesson in our spirital growth and daily walk with HIM – The Lord Jesus Christ!
Laura W. says
Holley Gerth says
Beth, wow, I thought I was the only one who ever did this! Thank you for putting into words what I often feel–and offering an amazing new perspective on it. Lovely words, powerful truth! So glad you’re here today!
Thanks, everyone, for the comments and encouragement! I really appreciate it.
Ah! So true! never thought about it like that…
Amy Sullivan says
Worshipping free time? Yes, I think and think about when that precious time will finally arrive, and I plan and replan and turn off the phone, and make sure everything is perfect for MY TIME.
Yep, I’m guilty, and I don’t like the way that feels.
Kat @ Inspired To Action says
The conviction train has come to a full and complete stop.
Sheesh…you’ve been reading my mail today, haven’t you? Thanks for the lovely reminder!
Corrine R says
Thanks for being sensitive to the voice of God, and putting into words what so many of us struggle with but never found a way to say. This comes w/great timing as today is the last day of my work week and I’ve been looking forward to my “free time” – now I will enter my weekend with a much better perspective!
You nailed that one. I have been there many times. Thanks for the reminder and encouragment.
I Live in an Antbed says
Wonderful wisdom! Thank you!
Why do we do this?: “I don’t want to bother You with this, God. I’ll just take care of it on my own.” When will we realize that He wants to be a part of everything we are and do? As we read in Isa 55:8-9 our Father always has a better idea!
Nikole Hahn says
So true. I was struggling with this weekend and all its hectic scheduling.
Sonya Martin says
Great one, Beth!! Now I need to find one of these days so I can put it into practice!!!
Thank you. That was an amazing post, and a GREAT reminder. Thank you.
Beth! You hit the nail right on the head! I have tears i my eyes right now. You’ve put into words what I’ve felt on too many occasions…worshiping my time instead of my Lord…”Wow!!!!” I needed that jolt of reality. Thank you!