I had originally planned to mow the back lawn last Saturday. Throughout my regular morning activities in helping my wife up, have breakfast and then get ready for the day, I kept thinking about and planning our afternoon activities in the yard. But then I started having some other thoughts! I suddenly realized that I had numerous other projects in motion at the same time. So as I began to lose my peace about mowing the lawn, I went to the Lord in prayer where I believe He showed me the importance of finishing one project at a time!
If there is one thing that I have settled in my heart over the years, it is the importance of yielding to the peace of God inside me. On Saturday I had the feeling that He was telling me to not allow distractions to bring confusion into my life. And you know… He was right. I have had so many different things going on around here lately that at times, I didn’t really know which end was up!
Therefore I took Him at His word, rescheduled the yard work to the next day – besides another day of sunny weather would make the mowing easier – and spent the afternoon finishing the assembly of a decorative windmill I had purchased for an area in back that I am re-purposing and cleaned up a couple of other projects inside the house. At the end of the day my inner peace had returned and on Sunday we attacked the yard with great vigor and actually enjoyed every moment of it!
Let me tell you… My wife and I have always had the innate ability to multi-task. That’s probably one reason we have made such a good team over the years and were able to juggle the responsibilities of family, homeschool, ministry planning and events, and one or two outside jobs at the same time! But the ability to multi-task is always a lot easier when you’re doing it with the peace of God leading you. In this regard, one of the tricks I have learned is to be able to focus on the task before me while placing everything else into the hands of the Lord. I think that this is where the peace of the Lord comes into play. With everything in His hands, I don’t have to get anxious about the other responsibilities that are out there just waiting for me.
In my current responsibilities as a 24/7 caregiver to the one that I love more than anything else in this world, God’s peace has been a little harder to keep steadily abiding in me! This job is quite different than anything else I have ever done! Suddenly you find yourself in the position where another life is completely dependent on you! And yes, I do have help, but in the day to day activities of this chapter in our lives, the buck still stops with me! So… besides dealing with the physical aspects of my responsibilities for my wife, there’s the responsibilities of our stand of faith, the home, the dog, bills, doctors, other family members, interactions with neighbors and friends, and the list goes on and on. Oh yea… Then there is also the need to take care of myself as well so that I can always be there for Piper.
So what’s my point here? Simply, that in the midst of this current situation, I have found myself occasionally getting distracted and sometimes discombobulated within the responsibilities I need to accomplish as well as the other one’s that I add to the mix, like photography, landscaping projects, attempts at woodworking, reading, and simply taking time to toss the ball for the dog... all in order to keep a sense of sanity in my life!
The key to staying on track is to keep God’s plan, direction and vision for what He has told us to do after returning from Oklahoma in 2009, first and foremost in our sights. I believe that things that I add to my primary responsibilities with Piper are fine… as long as they don’t cause me to get distracted away from the directions Papa God gave to us.
2 Timothy 2:4 cautions us that, “No one serving as a soldier entangles himself in the affairs of civilian life, in order that he may please the one having enlisted him.” (English Majority Text Version) And believe me when I state that you’ll have all kinds of help in getting entangled in the affairs of life whenever you take a step of faith in order to receive the benefits of your salvation! There are plenty of folks, opportunities and things that will vie for your attention! It got so bizarre when we started stepping out in what we believe were God’s directions concerning my wife’s healing that we even had people fabricating stories about things we had supposedly done, were doing, or said! It was so farfetched that if it wasn’t so sad it would actually be funny!
No, Paul is telling young Pastor Timothy in this letter to him, that his number one priority is to please the Lord who commissioned and sent him to Pastor the flock in his church, not anyone or anything else. That goes the same today for you and me! Piper and I knew the severity of what we were facing and decided early on that her life depended upon our obedience to God and His Word… and we have tried our best to not let other ideas, “suggestions” or the “I know what’s best for you” comments to distract us from what He has told us to do.
Our sole desire has been to please the One who has commissioned and sent us to accomplish this responsibility. That’s why we spend a lot of time in His Word on a regular basis through each and every day. That’s why we’ve had to say “No” to certain suggestions or ideas, it is even one of the many reasons we moved out here!
I guess the final question for each of us today would be to ask yourself… “Who am I trying to please?” Have you really ever faced that question? Go ahead, give it a whirl!
Have a terrific rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Whose affairs am I expecting to entangle myself in today?”