My husband Don and I like to build puzzles. The first step to puzzle-building is to find a table big enough to fit the puzzle. Next equally important step is to clear space on the table for both the “in-progress” and the finished puzzle.
Our puzzle building starts by locating all the boundary pieces in the box – the outside edge. Once the puzzle boundary is in place, we spread the rest of the pieces outside the boundary. Then we work color by color, section by section, using the picture on the box as our guide. The finished puzzle gives us both quite a sense of accomplishment.
It all started with making space. If we didn’t first clear the space and make room, we’d never enjoy the finished work of art.
Likewise, we need to make space in our lives for God’s priorities.
First priority is our time with Him. Do we give Him dedicated time to meet with us each day? Do we seek His will for our lives every day so we know how much space to make?
Next priority is whatever He has for us on any given day. Our marching orders, so to speak. Do we make enough space for those things, put a boundary around it, then spread everything else outside that boundary?
I am a perpetual thinker – I ponder events to come, yesterday’s conversations, and books I want to write. I am easily distracted when I have many things to do, even though I have plenty of time to get them done. I flutter from one thing to the next, starting something here, making notes there, a “quick” phone call or email, and, oh, wait, I needed something on Amazon, now it’s time for lunch so I’ll take a break. I sometimes get to the end of the day frustrated and mad at myself because of wasted time, and because nothing I felt the Lord wanted me to do was accomplished.
Can you relate?
Today the Lord showed me that this happens because I don’t intentionally make space for His priorities. I don’t first put a boundary around a specific timefame and then protect it. For example, if He calls me to write a blog or work on my books today for a few hours, the boundary is that I’ll write between ten and noon and do everything else before or after that timeframe. Focus on only writing for that two hours.
Whatever is God’s priority for that day should get the choice place on the schedule. His perspective is always eternal, and He knows what we need to be doing that will bear fruit for eternity. Everything else can wait. Everything!
I mean, really, why is this so difficult? We make space for doctor appointments, our jobs, coffee dates, and other activities. We go to work because we’re getting paid. We go to a coffee date because we told someone we’d be there. We keep doctor appointments because they may charge us if we don’t show up. We protect those boundaries and make it happen!
How much more should we make space for and protect the boundaries of the things God calls priorities – things that matter for eternity!
What has God called you to do that you need to make space for? What do you allow to crowd into that space?
I have changes to make, for sure! How about you?
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Lord, thank you for this day that is before me now. I want to make the most of it for eternity.
Help me to learn how to set boundaries around YOUR priorities, not my own.
Help me to focus on what’s important today.
Help me to make space in my day, and to let go of or push aside anything that attempts to invade that space.