“You have all the time you need to do the things that God has called you to do.”
The words of a wise friend, they snagged on my busy soul—all the time I need? Really? Then why do I feel so hurried? Why do I never have enough time?
What makes this counter-cultural statement true is that last part: “that God has called you to do.” You do not have all the time you need to do everything that you feel like doing, or all the things that other people ask you to do.
Believing we have “enough”—of anything—depends on holding two seeming opposites in tension: we must curb our appetites while embracing abundance. We must curb our appetites for stuff, food, money—and even, or perhaps especially, activity. And actually, it is when we say no to those appetites, choosing to believe that there is enough, that we begin to experience abundance—of love, food, money, opportunities. This in turn helps us just relax, and trust, instead of grabbing and hoarding for fear we will somehow not get what we need. When we embrace abundance, believe that God’s grace and provision are sufficient, that we have all the time (or resources) we need, we get free of the fear that fuels our appetites.
For this truth to be livable, we must spend time listening to the voice of God’s calling. Our yes and no cannot be arbitrary, but guided by divine purpose, and grounded in the faith that God’s resources are abundant, that his provision is enough. And in order to hear what God calls us to, in order to be attentive, we must drown out some of the other voices that compete for our attention. We must choose to listen. And in that choosing, there will be a slowing, a silence—in which we discover that we do indeed have more than enough time.
So much competes with God’s voice, because so much competes for our time. But so many things in our life waste our time.
Speaking of things that can waste our time: I’m taking a sabbatical from Facebook this month—at least, from my own personal page. My freelance work currently includes managing a client’s Facebook page—so I continue to do that work. But I knew that just trolling through updates or posting pictures of whatever I was cooking that day was getting to be a major time suck. A person I love challenged me to fast from Facebook with her, and I agreed.
And suddenly, even though I am working on multiple projects and my freelance business has never been busier—I feel like I have so much time!
Not to get all spiritual on you, but I’m using some of the time I used to spend zoning out on Facebook to pray. I’m sort of embarrassed, actually, about how much time I spent just reading updates from people I don’t even actually know—or getting drawn into political arguments that I really didn’t want to be in.
As an author, I sometimes feel like I’m “supposed” to be posting wise and witty things on Facebook, building my platform and my brand via social media. In today’s publishing world, that’s true—you do need to connect with your readers. But it was beginning to feel like a lot of pressure. And taking a break from it felt like a gift God was holding out to me. So I took it.
I know that this post will automatically link to my Facebook page—so if you found this post that way, welcome. I’ll post thoughts here, when I actually have something to say. And believe that they are more than enough.
To discuss (or not): “You have all the time you need to do the things that God has called you to do.” Do you agree? What has God been calling you to do lately? What is one change you could make that would give you more time to actually do that thing?
Suggested resource for further reading: Making Room for God in Your Hectic Life