Deadlines: Ours or God’s?

stress-1837384_1920 pixabay no att req

Courtesy of Pixabay

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:10

Today, I’m battling deadlines. In our world, we have the advantage of knowing the deadlines. Usually, I’m on top of things. I don’t like the rush at the last hour, so I tend to plan well and meet the finish line without adding to my grey hairs. Usually.

Not today. Today, I’m struggling to keep up because this week went off-kilter and never got back on track.

What about your Christian life? Are you off-kilter, trying to get back on track. The verse above might create fear in your heart, but I hope you’ll rest in the truth of His word and find peace instead of fear.

The verses prior to this warning say:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9

The Lord wants all to come to repentance. He’s more forgiving than the deadlines I’m dealing with, but I give my deadlines more attention than the most important one: the day when the Lord returns.

What about you? Are you fighting the world’s deadlines and forgetting His? If so, I hope you pause and focus on the most important one. Seek Him first, find His love, His will, and the others should fall into place.

Stressed or Blessed? Which Are You?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What if a long, lost relative came to you today and told you that he would deposit $86,400 in your bank account at midnight? That sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?

But there is a catch.  You must spend the entire $86,400 within a twenty-four hour period.  Any money not spent will be taken back.  Oh, and one last point, you can NOT invest it.  You must spend all of it.

So, how would you spend it?

We’re asked this question each and every day.  There are 86,400 seconds in a day.  If we don’t use them wisely, they’re still gone.  We can’t invest them.  We can’t grow time.

 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.  Mark 3:20

Jesus faced this problem every day of his ministry.  How many passages show the crowds finding him, no matter where he went?  He finds time to slip away and pray, but Jesus never turns the people away. Passover is coming and with it, his time as a man on this earth is over.

If you’re like me, you find yourself running and never quite getting it all done.  We have overflowing schedules.  We’re out of breath, eating in our car, not sleeping enough, forgetting things, and feeling a bit haggard.

The thing is, no matter how much we try, we can’t create more time.  We must plan to use it well.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

How are you using our time?  Do your activities fit into these familiar verses or are you running around never quite getting anywhere?

How would you have spent $86,400?

Did you use it to the glory of God or to your own comfort?  Did you use it for something that will allow you to spend your time wisely or foolishly?  It’s fun to dream about what we might do with so much money, but we have that much given to us free of charge every single day. Maybe it’s time to sit back and look at our overflowing schedules and ask how Jesus would have spent the time if he were in our shoes.

NOTE:  I wrote this post a few months ago for our church women’s retreat.  This week, these words resonate with me, though, because I’m trying to get back on track after a few weeks of family “relaxation.” I know when I feel rushed, everyone around me begins to feel my stress. It’s not pretty, so this is as much for me as it is for you.

How are you doing with your 86,400 seconds?