July27Good Morning Friend!  We live in a day and age when there are so many choices of what to do with our time and time often becomes the commodity that is struggled over in our lives.  How many of us have a full time job, are involved with our families, have churches as well as other organizations we are members of, and have hobbies that we are pursuing.  We may be sports aficionados or we may be passionate about one or more of the many avenues for fitness.  How do we fit it all in?  We may feel that everything we are involved in is very much worthwhile and each area is bringing some sort of satisfaction to our lives in some way.  Yet… at what cost?  A doctor recently told me that she sees an average of 2-3 people each and every day who come to her with issues relating to extreme fatigue.  Instead of admitting that the human body has limits, as a culture we want to take more vitamins, eat foods that promote energy and somehow increase our capacity to do more.  Would you not agree that sometimes it can be harder to admit our limits and to seek to live with a greater degree of peacefulness and thankfulness within them than to pursue each and every thing that we desire to accomplish and may even know that we have a talent or predisposition for?

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 27, looking for that wisdom that God has imparted through His Word, knowing that as He created us, He also knows and cares about what is best for our lives.

Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.”  (verse 1)

This verse speaks to the fact that as humans we have limits, does it not?  We can plan and strategize to the best of our abilities, but the fact is, we can’t predict what tomorrow will bring.  At some point we have to admit that we don’t have complete control over our lives.  We are pointed to the fact that while we should plan for tomorrow and for our future, at the same time, we need to hold that same future loosely, trusting that God has the best plan for us, regardless of what twists and turns our lives may take.

The story that a conference speaker once told about her sister comes to mind.  Her sister had married a pastor and as at that time, many pastor’s wives also played the piano for the services as well as taught Sunday School, led the Women’s Ministry and filled in for whatever needs might be presented in the church, she had dutifully and happily learned to play the piano and filled her life with those activities.  However after several years, she was afflicted with cancer and came to know that she did not have much time left of her life left here on earth.  She became a different person in many ways at that point, re-organizing her priorities and even going so far as to try new ventures that had previously been thought to be frivolous as relating to her life and responsibilities.  The woman who was relating this told how as her sister shed her own ideas of all that she had previously felt had to be accomplished, those around her saw her become a much more lighthearted person, fun to be around, making the most of the time she could spend with each and every person in her life.  Instead of playing the piano (which she actually disliked) she began to sing and a beautiful voice filled with gentleness emerged.  She did not spend her time on regrets and sadness, but concentrated on things like laughter, affection, compassion, kindness and she slowed her pace of life down so that she could make the time for those things.  While I am sure that we have all heard stories like this and while most of us have paused at one time or another to think about what we would do in such a situation, maybe we should pause more often to think about it and even make some changes?

In James 4:15-16 we find this wisdom repeated as well, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”  We are to make plans, but to hold those plans loosely, knowing that they can and most likely will change at some point.  Today’s wisdom seems to apply well to those of us who live in today’s driven society… and the question to ask ourselves would be “Is all of the striving and strategizing; all of the calendar-manipulations; all of the stress of trying to accomplish absolutely everything that we can accomplish really what the Lord intends for our life?”

My Response Today:  Heavenly Father, I come to You today and ask that You would reveal what my priorities should be.  I ask You to reveal if there are areas of life in which I should cut back or even cut out.  I want to have priorities and activities that line up with Your will, knowing that You care for me and have my best interests at heart.

Are there areas for examination in your life, Friend, where you may need to cut back or re-prioritize?  I know I will be thinking this over today…