At this exact moment there are 11 sticky notes on my desk, and that does not include random scraps of paper laying around with scribbles on them. Needless to say, my brain feels as scattered as my desk looks.
There is so much going on, and I know I am not the only one feeling this spring rush of tackling “to do” lists. It is a cruel slave master.
In all things, I feel the need to be prepared to accomplish the next task before I am even completed with the present one. Essentially, I am confessing to you that I have built very little (if any) margin into my life. And by margin I mean this: that between tasks or events I have given myself time to take a deep breath and prepare for the next thing at hand.
For example, I have engagement pictures tomorrow. I originally had planned my schedule with something right up to the hour of this and for the exact hour afterwards. However, then I started thinking, “what do I want our pictures to look like and what do I want to wear?” This made me think, “Holy smokes! I didn’t even give myself time to make these pictures what we want them to look like. I left myself no time to enjoy it or look good for it.”
This is a trivial example, but it made me step back and look at the other areas of my life and if I had left margin for those and I had not. I was rushing from one thing to the next without enjoying the present one or savoring the one before. It reminded me of a liturgical prayer that I used to read on chaotic, busy days.
Prayer to Welcome the Sabbath
Lord of Creation,
Create in us a new rhythm of life
Composed of hours that sustain rather than stress,
Of days that deliver rather than destroy,
Of time that tickles rather than tackles.
Lord of Liberation,
By the rhythm of Your Truth, set us free
From the bondage and baggage that breaks us,
From the Pharaohs and fellows that fail us,
From the plans and pursuits that prey upon us.
Lord of Resurrection,
May we be raised into the rhythm of Your new life,
Dead to deceitful calendars,
Dead to fleeting friend requests,
Dead to the empty peace of our accomplishments.
To our packed-full planners, we bid, “Peace!”
To our over-caffeinated consciences, say, “Cease!”
To our suffocating selves, grant release.
Drowning in a sea of deadlines and death chimes,
We rest in you, our lifeline.
By your ever-restful grace,
Allow us to enter Your Sabbath-rest
As your Sabbath-rest enters into us.
In the name of our Creator,
Our Resurrection and Life,
*Taken from Shane Claiborne’s Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Dearest reader, this is my prayer for you today. No matter what your planner or iPhone calendar or “to do” list looks like…take five minutes to yourself right now. Breathe. Pray. Have joy in all the little details that God has blessed your life with even if that is a busy schedule.
“Wherever you are be ALL there.” –Jim Elliot.