“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.” Ephesians 5:15-17
I’ve had a zig-zag day today – do you ever have those? I started out with a plan – a good one, I thought. Not too busy, with just right amount of to-do’s on my list. But, it was not meant to be. From the get-go, things and people conspired to distract me: a husband on vacation, computer and car troubles, phone calls…
(Ironically, just after I finished typing that first paragraph, I got up and made myself a snack. Yummy, but not helpful to my cause!)
Now it is nearly 3 pm and I’m taking a quick inventory of what’s been accomplished. The short answer is, NOT MUCH. That’s kind of discouraging. But is the short answer totally accurate?
No, I didn’t get my blog done by 9 am, but I was able to give my husband a ride home from the mechanic’s. No, I didn’t make the big batch of lentil soup for lunch like I planned, but I did some shopping so my daughter could make a special dinner that she’s been craving. And no, I didn’t put time into working on my new website, but I got to connect wtih a couple of people and offer them some support.
I guess whether I see my day as a success or not depends on what I use as a measuring stick. If I rely soley on my original plan, then yes, my day was a distracted mish-mash. My verdict would be: “Oh well, I’ll just try again tomorrow.”
But after starting down that road, the scripture from Ephesians came to mind. And that phrase, “making the most of every opportunity” especially caught my attention. What kind of opportunity was Paul talking about? The context was a teaching on how to walk in love, so the oppotunity had to do with modelling Christian behavior wherever and whenever we can.
What does that have to do with my zig-zag day? Well, I think Paul’s overarching theme here was to aim be as Christlike as possible, and to use whatever the day brings as a way to show God’s love to others. If I look at what I actually did today in those terms, it paints a more positive picture.
I had opportunites to help, to support, to equip, to pray, and to encourage other people. And though I could have just stuck to my own plan, I chose to take advantage of the opportunities the day offered me.Did I align myself with the will of the Lord in doing those? I think so, at least for the most part. And that makes for a successful day, doesn’t it?
I still hope I can get more of my stuff done tomorrow. But in the meantime, I can thank God for providing so many chances for me to show that love to others – that doesn’t happen every day!