It’s nearly mid September, how are you doing?

At this point, schools are back in session, co-workers have returned home from vacations, and weekly activities are back on the calendar.

Some were ready for the Fall back in July, while others would love the Summer days to creep into November.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I love a predictable schedule and routines, but there is something special about spending evenings outside in the warm air under the stars and seeing lightning bugs flicker all around.

Yet inevitably Fall has arrived, and we can’t stop the leaves from falling off the trees or keep the pumpkins from turning orange.  With this change of season, I want us all to take a moment and look at our calendars.

Your calendar may hold your schedule alone, or maybe it’s already color-coated and crammed with your families activities.  Either way, take some time to look at it, and join me in asking ourselves three questions.

Question 1: When do you spend time with the Lord?

I am absolutely guilty of coming to the end of what appeared to be an extremely productive day and realizing that I forgot the most important thing.  I may have crossed off everything on my To Do List, but did I allow tasks and others to come before the Creator of the Universe?  Making your time with the Lord a priority and habit is definitely not easy.  The evil one wants nothing more than to distract you and give you excuses to push it off.  We need to fight this temptation, and everyday open up the Scriptures and dig into God’s Word…the words that will fill our hearts and minds with truth.  Reading the Bible will help us to see God for who He is, who we are as His creation, and how to love and approach this world we live in.  I challenge you to look at your calendar and find a consistent time everyday to spend with the Lord.

Question 2: Are your weekly commitments an encouragement to you and others?

What I mean by this question is when you look at your schedule, do your weekly activities (apart from your job, responsibilities, etc.) help you press on in your walk with Jesus?  Do they encourage you to prioritize your family?  Are they keeping you from serving the church body?  If there is a financial cost, does it still fit your budget?  It’s always a good idea to look with fresh eyes at our calendars and ask the Lord for wisdom.  Saying a few hard no’s makes space for a great yes.  Trust the Lord as you lift up your weekly schedule.  He is the author of your life, and knows best how to protect, grow and use you to make much of Himself in this life. 

Question 3: Do you have margin in your calendar?

The culture of the North East seems to be one that glorifies a full and busy schedule.  If you don’t have your children in an after school activity everyday, you aren’t setting them up for success.  If you aren’t working 80 hours a week, you are selling yourself short, and won’t ever make enough money to buy all the stuff that will make you happy.  I want to challenge these views, and ask where in scripture it says to fill up every second of your day?  Where does it say that our worth is found in being busy?  I love that throughout Jesus’ life on earth, He made sure to have margin for others.  Again and again he turned from what He was saying or doing to go speak with, heal, or just be with another person.  Margin.  We need to create space for opportunities for the Lord to use us as His hands and feet to those around us.

My prayer is that together we surrender our schedules to the Lord.  Let’s hand over all of our plans and trust the Creator of the Universe to direct our calendars.  Make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word and prayer everyday.  There is no other task that is more important.  Look over your weekly commitments and pray over them, asking the Lord for wisdom.  And finally, pray for the Lord to show you how to create margin.  We are all in very different seasons of life, so this will look different for us all, but ask God to show you how to cut back if your schedule is jam packed.  This will allow space to make a meal for a new mom, to go and sit with a grieving friend, to play basketball with a co-worker, or to take your child out for a special date night.

God’s plan and schedule is far better than anything we can come up with, so let’s trust Him to orchestrate ours.