I'm taking a big, refreshing breather this morning in God's presence as my calendar has eased a bit. Really, my March was so crazy, I was overwhelmed at times, but this morning I, while I still have tons of things to do, I'm feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off of my back! Anyway, it appears I am constantly learning this lesson...along with my wife. We received an invitation to something the other day and I made an offhanded comment that was completely Spirit led (I think). Sara said, "That date is open". I replied, "The goal is not to fill every date on the calendar." It not you know! Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should! This reality hit me last week, when someone wanted to meet with me on a Tuesday, and the first open date was in May!
I remembered back to my first summer of full-time youth ministry: four (count em) four days on the calendar that didn't have a church event. I jumped in to my first year of full-time ministry thinking I should fill my schedule with God stuff....so I did. The only thing I really remember about that summer is being tired (though I'm sure God used it somehow for His glory). And now, 26 years later, I'm still trying to get past this idea that I must do everything! What is wrong with me? Well, the problem is that we live in a culture whose technology has provided more time and ease, but instead of resting in that time, we have added more things. Did you know that most high school students list "stress" as a major concern?! Wonder where they get the idea that they can overload their schedules to be stressed as a teen-ager? What is wrong here?
I'm talking to my accountability team today...a confession really. I have to do better at this. I have to respect the fact that God rested (Sabbath) and maintain this reality for godly living. I'm sure there will be times in the future when I'll be overstretched again (sometimes, life does that), but I want to work at the balance God has for my life. The only way I know to do this is by leaving more open dates on my calendar. Go ahead, look at your calendar like I am today and mark off some "no appointment" days in June, July, and August. Trust me, you'll be glad you gave yourself some open dates.