I’ve been off the grid. It wasn’t a planned exit. I didn’t intend to leave the blog for a couple of weeks. But like one of my friends often says, “Sometimes things happen”—what a truism!
I’ve been a bit off schedule lately. A dear friend’s medical emergency took me more than nine-hundred miles from home—quite unexpectedly. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to go, thankful for a sweet trip back home with her, thankful she is now under a doctor’s care here, but after being away almost a week, I’ve been playing catch up on a number of fronts. And I’ve left the blog unattended while I’ve been running hard to get on top of things.
When major interruptions hit, life never stops—it just keeps right on throwing you the same deadlines, responsibilities, tough jobs, and overloaded schedules. The emails keep piling up and the piles of laundry just keep growing. Pretty much every square inch of the day is already filled with the “to do” stuff and life’s busyness really leaves no margins for interruption.
So, what do you do when you’re drowning?
Do the next thing.
I can hear Elizabeth Elliott quoting that in my head. She took it from an old Saxon poem (which I’ll refrain from posting, but you can read it, along with some rich words from her, by clicking here). I often hear her voice repeating the phrase in my head when I look around at all that needs to be done, and I don’t know where to start.
Do the next thing.
How do I ever catch up when I’m running so far behind? I might not. Perhaps there are things best left for another to do, or maybe the “lateness in the doing” is actually right on time. Those details are worries that I must let go. The answer isn’t to despair, or to fume at the day that is flying with too little accomplished . . . the answer is to do the next thing. To do it with a grateful, and as my three year-old would say, a “happy” heart.
The responsibilities that I’ve had to put on hold, may have been on my schedule, but they were not what my sovereign King had on His agenda for my day when the interruption hit. His appointment for me was a few hundred miles away. And I may not know all the purposes He had for that assignment, but I do know that I can trust His timing when He chooses to interrupt my life. And you can, too.
Elisabeth also said:
This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness. ―Elisabeth Elliot
I confess I’ve grumbled this week when looking at the laundry piles and the overstuffed email box and felt the weight of not being able to catch up. But God graciously reminded me: the interruptions, the unexpected calls, the rearranging of my schedule . . . all of it is a gift—from Him.
How do I catch up when I just can’t catch up?
Do the next thing. And see the job as a gift from the Father. See the rearrangement of my schedule as a sovereign interruption. Let the moments of this day be an offering.
Surrendering my schedule to Him today, how about you?
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