Wings As Eagles: Keeping my focus on the eternal, rather than the temporary...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Keeping my focus on the eternal, rather than the temporary...

From the time I wake up each morning to the moment I fall asleep, my day is planned, many times to the minute. I have things to do, my own self-inflicted schedule to keep and my self-set deadlines to meet.

As I wake up on any given day of the week, my first thoughts are of what I need to get done that day and how much can I get accomplished in each hour. After I get dressed and have my morning devotions, my mind moves to my to-do list for the day.

After spending the morning answering my email and shipping orders which takes longer than the time I had allotted, I move onto illustrating the art work for my newest pattern. The noon hour sneaks up and I take a quick break to fix and eat lunch all the while my mind is on the artwork and how I can get the layout correct.

After another quick check of my email and a couple of things crossed of my to-do list, I move onto organizing some computer files and planning my next quilting class. All of a sudden a new "have-to-do-today" item crossed my mind and I scribble that down at the top of my list. Supper time has arrived and after that's done and over, I tackle more email, do some blog reading and upload some new inventory to my website.

It's now 11:00 pm, our evening family devotions are over and I'm still staring at a computer screen with a mouse in my hand, trying to finalize some pattern and quilt details. Right before I turn in for the night, I make out my list of things to do for the next day. As I'm falling asleep, my mind is dwelling on the fact that I can probably get my quilt directions written by noon tomorrow, but if I can get them done by 11:00, that would be even better.

I am probably the world's worst at scheduling things for myself to do and saying "yes" to just about every project that I encounter. And while none of those things are necessarily wrong or bad, it can turn into something that is, especially when my focus is so much on what I "have to get done" instead of those things of eternal value that really matter.

When I stand before the Lord and give account of my life here on earth, is it going to matter how many patterns I was able to get published or how many quilts I finished? No. Maybe the number of quilt classes I taught or the amount of emails I answered on time will earn some eternal significance? Nope.

As I wake up in the morning, my mind is jumping to the list of to-dos instead of praying, "Lord, what would YOU have me to be doing today?" Instead of being bombarded by with my own set schedules and deadlines, my heart and attitude should be, "Lord, how can I serve and minister to others for YOUR glory today?"

How easy it is for me to get caught up in my day-to-day activities and not really stop and consider what God has me on earth here to do. So many of my daily agendas don't really have any eternal value and in the whole scheme of things will make little difference in my life 10 years from now.

Not long ago as I was writing in frustration to my closest friend that I didn't get my Sunday School classroom decorations changed when I wanted, she emailed me in response, "And, I seriously doubt that when you face Jesus in eternity that whether or not you got your classroom decorations changed by your self-inflicted deadline is going to be important."

Very true. How easy it is for me to set a deadline and I will do just about everything, short of killing myself, to get it accomplished. At least on time, if not ahead of schedule. But is it really that important? In eternity, am I going to look back and kick myself that I was two weeks late changing from Spring to Summer decorations? I don't think so.

Lately it seems that I've been bombarded with things to do in these busy summer months and God is trying to teach me what's really important to do and what's ok to just let go. Little things keep cropping up that keep reminding me that the things of this earth are temporary and my focus and goal should be different than what it is.

The memory verse I taught to my SS class last week was Matthew 24:35 which says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." I explained the verse to my kiddos, saying that someday all we know here on earth will be gone. It's just temporary, but God's Word, the Bible, will never ever go away. It will always be here.

It wasn't until this week in Sunday School that I reviewed our verse and one of the kids voluntarily told me what it meant, that the significance of that verse really hit me. And it hit me full force. As Weston told me the Bible will always be here, but heaven and earth would someday be gone, God brought to my mind the things I had been so busily doing the previous week and how little importance they really had.

How many times do I try to teach and minister to those kids on Sunday morning and many times God uses them to convict ME in certain areas? I've had that verse memorized for years, known and taught what it means, but it wasn't until Weston repeated back to me what it meant that it made me really stop and consider those things of true importance.

As Matthew says, treasures in heaven are much more important than the temporary treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

While I continually fail and am constantly surrounded by things of this world, my focus and goal should be on Jesus Christ and what His desire and will is for me to accomplish that day. I may get nothing done other than answer emails, ship orders, laundry, meals and helping someone in my family, which at the end of the day makes me think, "I just didn't get anything done I wanted to today." But perhaps I really did....that time spent emailing a friend, spending the afternoon with my Grandma or just listening to someone who needs a listening ear may be just on God's to-do list for me.

So the next day (and I know all too well, there will be many to come!) that things don't go as planned by the end of the day, I can be thankful for what God allowed me to get done that day and keep in mind that my focus should be on what truly matters and the things of eternal value.

1 comment:

  1. that was a good post kid...and how very true!!


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