As I gaze down the barrel of yet another jam-packed day, I look forward to the time because it’s filled with activities that I chose and they all come to a common goal: progress. Writing in the morning ensures that I have blog posts ready to publish; helping kids get ready for school means that I see their sweet faces and kiss them off to another day of learning and growing; walking with a neighbor, yoga class, and a chiropractic appointment ensures that my body is taken care of; Bible study and time with friends feeds me spiritually, and the rest of the hours, whether they revolve around children’s activities, meals, or taking care of the house, are spent doing things that are organized in the name of progress.
I truly believe that God has called me for this life. Gone are the days of wondering what I am doing, if there’s more for me, something different. I used to grasp at the future like it was a dangling carrot just out of my reach. My steps were labored, my attitude alternately melancholic and surly. The days loomed, the time strangled and strained. I resented my lot and regularly looked just past my life to see if there was anything else out there. God was kind of out there, off in the distance. I imagined he was waiting for me to get my life together so that I could meet him. It was hard; I felt off-balance.
I was busy then, just as I am now. But one thing is different now: peace. Maybe it’s just that I’m older and mellower, that I have settled into the rhythm of life instead of fighting it every step of the way. Maybe it’s because the kids are more independent. It could be the years of Bible study finally kicking in. But peace is there. I have allowed God to come closer to the center of my life. Some days, he’s right smack in the middle of it all. Those days are wonderful.
There are days that are not full of peaceful things. Kids fight, my husband hurts my feelings, I say and do things that I regret immediately, someone gets sick and the whole day is shot. Plans go out the window when the weather changes, an unexpected expense blows the budget. I realize that my schedule is too tight; things need to relax a little.
But when God is at the center, there is peace. The peace comes from knowing that God is in control, that no matter what the days look like, he has chosen me to do this life. Just this one. He has given me the tools I need to do this. I will stumble and fail, cry that it’s too hard, and pout because I don’t want to, but this life has been given to me and blessed by God and that never changes. When I trust in that, in God’s plan, the peace overwhelms the angst that threatens to overwhelm me.
I can tell when I’ve allowed God to slip from the center of my life – stress and anxiety take over and the old feelings of plodding through mud to get to my bed at the end of the day surface. So centering my life on God has become vital to me doing this life, and doing it well. There is no scorecard to fill in to see how well I am doing compared to everyone else. There is only the relationship with God. The bonus that is wrapped up in this relationship is that others can benefit from it, and maybe even grow from it themselves. I may not be a shining star in the center of anyone’s world, but as long as God is in mine, I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
How about you? Do you believe that you are where you’re supposed to be right now? What does that look like?
This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Acts 10:36 (NLT)