God's Day Timer

Every Tuesday morning, I sit down with my Planner Pad and plot out the course of my week. I group things into categories (prayer, teaching, leadership, encouragement, administration) and try to figure out how to manage my time to accomplish everything I'm supposed to accomplish, talk with everyone I'm supposed to talk with, and be everywhere I'm supposed to be.

This morning, my list started with "drink coffee," because I was really sleepy. First things first. Prayer was next.

Anyway, I just finished filling in the rest of the blanks with important tasks -- plan Sunday's parent meeting, SOS movie night, and next week's staff meeting. Write the weekly email. Get back to her. Arrange to meet with him. Call so-and-so about this'n that. It really helps me to see my week in front of me, and it blesses me to be able to X-out the tasks when they've been done. I feel like I've accomplished something at the end of the week. I guess I have.

I'm glad God doesn't work like that, though. For God, there is no such thing as a Day Timer. He doesn't need to keep track of anything, and he never checks off something as finished. There's a big difference between being a steward of responsibilities and being God. God is just...there. Doing. Working. Amidst. Among. Outside. Inside. Holding Up. Sustaining. That's who he is. No administrative assistant, no reminder emails. He's God. Always completely involved and never forgetting the smallest detail, from setting up a king to caring for a sparrow.

Consider God's relationship to time. He sees the beginning, the middle and the end of all our human activities and days, and has forever. Time is irrelevant to him and he can even bend it if he wishes. Because he's outside of the whole scene, He doesn't need to make himself notes, "Scare the heck out of Zechariah in the Temple. Remind Gabriel to visit Mary. Prepare stable. Stick star in sky." God is beyond the sequence and intimately involved in it. All things are at work because of God. He holds all things together.

Consider God's relationship to our will. That's a mystery too big for anyone to understand, but somehow God allows our choices to affect our circumstances and the circumstances of others. Our prayers can even change the course of events on the earth. Yet nothing happens that surprises him and nothing happens without his foreknowledge. We can sin, we can fail, but we can't thwart the plans of God, who sees the whole amazing tapestry of every person in the world, and knits it all together in his perfect plan.

Consider God's relationship to you and me. We plan, we schedule, we discipline ourselves to complete our tasks. We think some things are more spiritual than others, and some of us make great efforts to improve spiritually, physically, intellectually, or whatever. But God works through every detail of our lives, even the ones we are unaware of, to make us aware of him and more like him. Every moment (if you can use that term in relationship to God) he is thinking completely of every one of us, pouring out his love and his mercy.

Romans 11:34 says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" The answer is, of course, no one but God himself.

And he can keep track of it all without writing it down on his Planner Pad or programming it into his Blackberry.

So today, as I set my agenda for the week, I'm glad that I have a purpose and a mission, and I will work hard to complete it. But I will also pause and remember that God directs my days. He is at work. Always has been. Always will be. His agenda is the only one that really matters. Remembering he's at work makes my work a lot less overwhelming.