Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting It All Done Tip #4: Don't Be a Slave to Your Schedule

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD'S purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

I know...I know...if you've been following my Tips you know that the previous post on planning, scheduling and to-do lists was rather extensive, and now I'm telling you not to be a slave to your schedule? What am I thinking??

I have found two constants in my everyday life: God's grace and provision and Murphy's Law. In case there's someone out there fortunate enough to not be familiar with the latter, it states that "Anything that can go wrong, probably will, at the worst possible time." I'll put it in flowery language by borrowing from Steinbeck (who borrowed from Burns): "The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray."

No matter how much you plan and prepare, there is always the possibility of the unexpected. But sometimes those unexpected plan-busters are God's providence in disguise.
I don't know how many times something has happened late in the day that caused me to leave late for work, only to get caught in traffic from a wreck that I might very well have been involved in, had I not been running a little late. Now, that's not saying that it's a good idea to not worry about being late for work, but it is valuable to realize that the LORD's hand is moving in our lives, and He moves to our benefit, although we may not see it that way at the time (remember Romans 8:28!).

And more important than any schedule are our true priorities. Sometimes we just need to step back and take time for teachable moments with the kids.  You just can't schedule those, but they are much too important to allow to pass unseized.  This is an area I tend to struggle with myself, because I find that I am always pushing my children to stay on task and stay on schedule so that our schoolwork doesn't fall behind. I tend to lose sight of the fact life's most important lessons very rarely come from a math, science, logic, or you-name-the-subject textbook, and I get lost in the need to check each and every item off my list.

It's important to stay focused on the goal, otherwise it's too easy to not see the forest for the trees. Why is it that you need that schedule in the first place? What do you hope to accomplish with it? How does this fit in with "the goal?" Do you even know what the goal is?

We'll talk about that in the next Getting It All Done Tip, so check back soon.

There is joy on this journey, On My Way Home to My Father's House,
Cindy <><

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