Balanced or Centered?
by Janice Six
Read Matthew 6:25--34
As I sit at
the traffic light of a busy intersection my mind races past the
cars on either side of me. I'm miles into the day and the light
is still red. Grabbing a pen from the console, I begin rummaging
for something on which to write my daily "to do" list.
I search the side panel pocket of the door for an empty envelope
or grocery receipt. Nothing. Too late now, the light is green.
Go, go, go! In 12 minutes I'll pull into the church parking lot
without a clue of which task to do first. There is so much to
do---more than can possibly be done in a day, maybe even a week,
and the list continues to grow. Overwhelmed by the possibilities
and pressures, challenges and chores, I zip along searching for
the exit. Yellow light ahead. Slow down. Stop.
Idling, I realize that the work is never done. The idea of ever
being caught up is a false hope luring me onto a racetrack that
has no finish line. So what do I do? I pray.
"God, you know there is more to be done today than I can
possibly do. What do you want me to do?"
That's it! That's the question with which to start each day.
The time, the task, they belong to God. What I deem important
and plan to do may not be at all what God desires for me. Under
my breath I say, "Take my list and make it thine."
This simple prayer marked the beginning of a new way of approaching
each day. Rather than attempting to juggle the myriad options
thrown in my direction, I begin with a prayer of relinquishment.
Rather than a balanced life, I seek to live a centered life.
Do I still jot down a "to do" list? Many days I do.
The difference is that now I skip lines as a visible reminder
that God may fill in the blanks in unexpected ways.
On the "To Do List of Life,"
May I always skip lines.
Remind me, God, of the plans you have in mind.
Like a small child with a giant permanent marker,
Wielding my will to and fro,
The risk of damage increases the faster I go.
Grow me up, God, in your grace.
Draw on you for all direction,
Trace your ways with clear perfection.
Grant me courage to simply give in.
Lay down the marker or colored pen.
Swap for a pencil, eraser intact.
Remove, reword, reroute my day.
Pencil in your work and way.
On the "To Do List of Life"
May I always skip lines.
Take my will and make it Thine.
Janice Six is the director of Christian education at
First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene, Texas, where she
has been a life-long member. She is pursuing a master of divinity
degree and is married with two teenage children.
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