One of my favorite activities is scheduling my day. Every evening while I’m at college, I grab a dry erase marker and scribble out a plan for the next day. Because of my scheduling nature, I know my friends’ birthdays, times of events, and even other people’s schedules!
Some days, I wonder how I’m going to use my spare time. Other days, I have a very hectic schedule.
In our constantly hurrying culture, that’s not uncommon. We place a lot of emphasis on our calendars—whether they are on paper or on a phone. We don’t always evaluate our priorities and decide what should take precedence in our lives.
Instead, we rush from one activity to the next—but we don’t often think about how God wants us to spend our time. Perhaps this is because we believe the two major lies about our schedules.
Lie #1: My schedule is a representation of my value.
When someone asks how I’m doing, I usually say, “I’m busy!” Sometimes, that’s truer than others. Honestly, I sometimes say I’m busy even when I’m not.
We may fall into the trap of claiming busyness because our culture tells us to be busy. We observe men, women, and children rushing around constantly. They seem really busy. But does their busyness mean anything?
Because of our schedule-obsessed culture, we tend to equate busyness with importance. The more things we have to do, the more important we are, right? Well, not necessarily.
Our worth isn’t dependent on our changing schedules. Some weeks will be busier than others. But that doesn’t mean we’re less important during less busy weeks! Our purpose and our worth come from something (rather Someone) who never changes:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
Our purpose as believers has been set in motion by the Creator of the universe. He didn’t randomly pick the work He wants us to complete. He prepared this work (Ephesians 2:10). Because we are the workmanship of God and because He has called us to a specific purpose, we are significant.
Truth #1: We can find value by fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives, not by filling up our schedules.
Lie #2: If I can control my schedule, my life will turn out how I want.
Deep in my personality and DNA, I’m a natural planner and scheduler. My tendency to plan also means I try to control my future by controlling my schedule. But, to be honest, I can’t guarantee that those upcoming activities will happen. None of us truly knows what the future holds.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16 ESV)
We have no idea what God has in store for our future. It could be exactly what you’ve written on your calendar—or something completely different. In actuality, it’s probably completely different. I’ve heard few people say, “My life turned out exactly as I’d planned.”
And that’s okay. It’s actually good because only God knows what’s next. We can plan, schedule, and set high expectations…but our plans may not come to pass.
Truth #2: The less we try to control our schedules, the less disappointed we will be when life doesn’t go our way.
I love Benjamin Franklin’s commonly quoted statement, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” It’s important to organize our time well and set personal goals, but it’s also important to recognize (and eliminate) our obsession with planning. Ultimately, our schedules do not give us worth and they can change in a moment. Instead of trusting our changing plans, let’s learn to trust the unchanging Savior.