I’ve been ploughing through all my journals for the past few days and I came across a February, 1984 entry. Our first child was born in March, 1983 so at the time that I wrote in my journal, I was dealing with a very curious, eleven month old daughter. According to my very meticulous notes in her baby book, Dawne wasn’t successfully walking on her own until a few days after this entry but she was definitely standing tall and with some assistance, was enjoying life from her new found vertical perspective. I remember her scooting across the room on her knees so quickly that if I turned my head for a second, she was out of my sight. It was a busy time and below are the words from a goal oriented but very frustrated young mother.
I’ve been trying to get something done today but I haven’t produced a thing. I feel guilty. Dawne’s been into everything and I got frustrated with her. It’s had to set realistic and attainable goals when you have a young child and therefore, an unpredictable day. Dawne comes first but there’s got to be a balance. Will I ever be able to finish a task again?
Apparently,I was trying to write way back then too but just couldn’t get those “chunks of time” needed to successfully complete a decent sentence. This is one of the comics that I had glued to that journal page.
Fast forward 28 years and what I find really interesting is that these comics STILL communicate a realistic picture of my life. I have learned that “there will come a day when you will have lots of free time” is a myth. The circumstances change, but I still find myself having difficulty “getting down to writing” and I often feel exhausted at the end of the day.
I don’t have little children at my feet but I have little demands screaming for my attention.
There are days that I feel exactly like Snoopy as I crawl into my bed with a “Zonk City” exhaustion.
The point is that life is demanding – whatever season you’re in, the days can really suck the life out of you. Yes, I can now successfully create“chunks of uninterrupted time” to write but I have to fiercely protect it – otherwise a barrage of demands begin to eat away at the “alone time” I need to write well.
On the other hand, I am hounded by something I heard Elizabeth Elliot say – “there is always enough time in a day to do God’s perfect will. If that’s true and I believe it is, why do I struggle so much with balance?
“When we try to keep within us an area that is our own,” wrote C.S. Lewis, “we try to keep an area of death.” Jesus, the Creator of time, knew this and was able to say at the end of his life: “I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.” (John 17.4 The Message) Jesus knew that the greatest sense of fulfillment lies in living and doing God’s will. I believe this but I struggle putting it into daily practice.
Expanding on Jesus’ triumphant comment that He had completed the Father’s task for Him, Elliot writes, “This was not the same as saying He had finished everything He could possibly think of to do or that He had done everything others had asked. He made no claim to have done what He wanted to do. The claim was that He had done what had been given.” So, I am left with asking myself, “What has God given me to do?”
I desire to redeem the time – to make the most of every opportunity – to understand what the Lord wants me to do – but I fail many times because “me and my plans” gets in the way. I know that if I am following His perfect will and letting Him choreograph my days, my time will be multiplied, my work more rewarding and my rest more restful.
So, I battle on.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5. 15,16 NKJV