Thursday, January 14, 2016

Year 4-Day 14-Cancelled Plans

Year 4 - Day 14: Today, I am grateful for cancelled plans.

This life is packed full. We have calendars, Outlook, Siri and so many other tools that help us manage the manage of this life. This busy that I have allowed, created and at times use to measure my worth.  Silly isn't it? The maddening madness of this over-scheduled life is soul sucking.  

Have your ever experienced the sweet relief of cancelled plans?  Not that the agenda item wasn't good...or even good fellowship.  Still, there is something really special about time that suddenly frees up for the luxury of lounging.  

This year...I want work on truly being present. Not just in attendance...but present and fully engaged.  If I have to arrive late and leave early to do it all, perhaps..."I'm sorry, but I have a conflict" might have been a better answer. Real relationships take time. 

The relationships that matter most, sometimes get neglected. I know.  I have been guilty.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
is packed full of guidance and instruction as to how to spend our time. It reminds us that seasons change. It is a beautiful passage. Farmers and gardeners love it. Poets imitate it. Writers borrow the articulate grace of the word patterns.  

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil?  I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;  also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.

I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.  That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away."

This passage lists all the things we do in our busy-ness business and then puts them into perspective when we look beyond the "a time to's" and grasp the wisdom of the following verses

He makes all things beautiful in His time.
He puts eternity into the heart of man that we might long for him.

He clearly reminds us that we don't have eternity goggles that see what God is doing in the "big picture".  We simply...yet courageously...have to trust that we are in his hands and that 
He is working out to the good of ALL who love him and seek his face. When we are part of an "all"...each of us will have some seasons in our individual stories of struggle, inconvenience and even sacrifice. He has promised to collect our tears, to keep count of our hairs...and he will never, ever leave us alone. 

Sometimes...our plans get that His plan might be fulfilled. Sometimes... it is an amazing ride. Other times...there is a bottle of tears...but He wipe away our tears, counts our hairs and gives us "our neighbors" for the journey. 
In perspective...

"there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;"

This is not always an easy assignment...but it is always a great mission mantra. 

Today, we can choose "to be joyful and do good". We can embrace a vision and run with it...for this is what the Lord instructs us to do...but we can, also, celebrate the cancelled, changed or re-routing. His will never leads us where his grace cannot keep us. 

Today, I will offer him gratitude for my cancelled plans.

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