This Year is More Than Half Over!

6

How is it possible that we are nearly through July?  That means 2016 is more than half over!

Time, or the passing of time, is the cause of many emotions and feelings in our culture. Unfortunately most of these emotions and feelings are negative because we can feel helpless as we watch day after day, week after week run past us, leaving us spinning with thoughts of what should have/could have been accomplished.

In comparison, 3rd world cultures often act as if time stands still. Because of their poverty and lack of resources most things they would like to accomplish simply never happen…leaving them with a sense of hopelessness and futility. Over the years and decades this spirals into losing desire to dream and lack of drive. Because they view one day as the next and the next…and so on until, any goals they might have made seem unattainable or unattractive.

And then there is God’s view of time. As a human constrained within time, I cannot explain except to quote a few verses.
II Peter 3:8 “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in your (God’s) sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.”

So, what should be my/our response to being within these human boundaries of time that press in on us and God’s timelessness?

Frustration, helplessness, anxiety and other negative responses can nearly paralyze us. Just last week I had a few panic moments when I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get everything done that was not only urgent but important. I am in that stage of life where this also causes some of my strongest hot flashes – and, in the heat of summer, I feel like I possibly going to suffocate. I am reduced to tears and praying for strength – which, I believe, is exactly where the Lord can meet me.

Melting into my savior’s arms in a heap of sweat, tears and helplessness is the safest place I can be during these times. He gently reminds me that His strength is sufficient in my weakness and inability. He does not magically give me more time…but He gives me insight to see how to use my time more effectively and efficiently. If I am willing, He can also lead me to give up some things that I don’t think I can and be more about HIS PASSION…people! He desires that our first passion be to minister to those His son, Jesus, died for. How quickly I forget that in the busyness of the hours, days, weeks, months and years.

My one true desire is that:
“On that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will sing
Your (His) praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore!” – Bless the Lord O My Soul (italics mine)

No more timelines, schedules, deadlines…simply praising the God of the universe.

But, I want as many people there praising God with me as possible…so, that means that I MUST find time to carve out for ministering to people.

“Lord, I realign my passion with yours once again – to be about the business, not busyness, of ministering to people. May you redeem my time and show me ways to serve you more in addition to accomplishing all this “time-constrained life” demands of me. Give me clear vision regarding personal and business tasks to commit to and show me when I want to do things only for my own good and glory. Oh Lord – that is so hard to face, but I need to, and ask you to give me willingness to do this.

I have five more months of 2016 before me. Whatever you have for me, I don’t want to miss it! I am weak but you are strong, I am willing, I am ready! In Jesus name, AMEN.”

The Long Days of Summer

Here it is August and the summer is steadily drawing to a close. Where has it gone?  Now, don’t get me wrong…I am not a lover of hot weather.  I could be very happy with the 80’s all summer, so the cooler weather that comes with fall is something I look forward to.  But I DO love the long days of sunshine! Cool summer evenings taking a walk or sitting on the front porch chatting and sipping some lemonade. These rate way up there with things I love – and things I long for other times of the year.

The word I want to focus on is “long”, but not in terms of how many days summer spans or how long the sunlight last during these days. It is rather, that no matter how long the days are in terms of sunlight, they are never more than 24 hours. And…somehow, for me, those 24 hours are never long enough to get everything done that is there before me begging to be done.

Do you feel the same way? Busyness and chaotic schedules are nothing new.  Not to me; not to most people – and, I suspect, not to you. We listen to messages, read books and re-prioritize our schedules trying to make more room in them. These days the term is “margins”. We are encouraged to create extra space in and around each page of our life.

How are you doing with creating those spaces? I am a sad failure at it, and more than that, the pages of my book are actually running into the gutters. So, what should I do about it – and what great advice am I going to blog here for you? The answer to both of those questions is “I don’t know”.

It seems that much of my crazy life is simply the result of too many wonderful people, opportunities and obligations. Does that sound like I am not just living a crazy life, but that I have gone crazy? Let me explain: I am blessed to have a father who is nearly ninety-four, a sweet  ten-week old grandson…and many wonderful relatives between the two. And, of course, my husband of nearly forty-three years who is always at my side is part of the count. I also have great friends who are living life with me. All these people simply take time.  Time well spent…albeit it is still time. Then there are the opportunities that come my way everyday. At sixty-one my bucket list continues to grow. Not for the wild, outrageous, are and/or expensive things of life – but rather for the chance to help someone, somewhere every single day from the knowledge and experiences my life has…and will afford me. I find myself fairly bursting with things I still want to learn to do to grow my knowledge in hopes of offering help and hope. Finally, there are the wonderful obligations of life that crush in on me. Why are they wonderful? Because I am blessed with work that pays me decently and clients who treat me with dignity and fairness. Of course, many of life’s obligation do not seem wonderful…such as needy neighbors, mindless chores, and urgent responsibilities that can nearly suffocate me. But, put in the proper prospective even those obligations are wonderful because they mean I am alive and have the health to meet them.

So, it would seem that even though I don’t have the answer for myself, or you, on how to make these long summer days hold anything less in them…I have managed to get some insight that will help me face another crammed day with new vigor.   Perhaps it will you, also.

images