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Speaker, Writer, and Author of GodSpace

All the time you need

“You have all the time you need to do the things that God has called you to do.”

The words of a wise friend, they snagged on my busy soul—all the time I need? Really? Then why do I feel so hurried? Why do I never have enough time?

What makes this counter-cultural statement true is that last part: “that God has called you to do.” You do not have all the time you need to do everything that you feel like doing, or all the things that other people ask you to do.

Believing we have “enough”—of anything—depends on holding two seeming opposites in tension: we must curb our appetites while embracing abundance. We must curb our appetites for stuff, food, money—and even, or perhaps especially, activity. And actually, it is when we say no to those appetites, choosing to believe that there is enough, that we begin to experience abundance—of love, food, money, opportunities. This in turn helps us just relax, and trust, instead of grabbing and hoarding for fear we will somehow not get what we need. When we embrace abundance, believe that God’s grace and provision are sufficient, that we have all the time (or resources) we need, we get free of the fear that fuels our appetites.

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For this truth to be livable, we must spend time listening to the voice of God’s calling. Our yes and no cannot be arbitrary, but guided by divine purpose, and grounded in the faith that God’s resources are abundant, that his provision is enough. And in order to hear what God calls us to, in order to be attentive, we must drown out some of the other voices that compete for our attention. We must choose to listen. And in that choosing, there will be a slowing, a silence—in which we discover that we do indeed have more than enough time.

So much competes with God’s voice, because so much competes for our time. But so many things in our life waste our time.

Speaking of things that can waste our time: I’m taking a sabbatical from Facebook this month—at least, from my own personal page. My freelance work currently includes managing a client’s Facebook page—so I continue to do that work. But I knew that just trolling through updates or posting pictures of whatever I was cooking that day was getting to be a major time suck. A person I love challenged me to fast from Facebook with her, and I agreed.

And suddenly, even though I am working on multiple projects and my freelance business has never been busier—I feel like I have so much time!

Not to get all spiritual on you, but I’m using some of the time I used to spend zoning out on Facebook to pray. I’m sort of embarrassed, actually, about how much time I spent just reading updates from people I don’t even actually know—or getting drawn into political arguments that I really didn’t want to be in.

As an author, I sometimes feel like I’m “supposed” to be posting wise and witty things on Facebook, building my platform and my brand via social media. In today’s publishing world, that’s true—you do need to connect with your readers. But it was beginning to feel like a lot of pressure. And taking a break from it felt like a gift God was holding out to me. So I took it.

I know that this post will automatically link to my Facebook page—so if you found this post that way, welcome. I’ll post thoughts here, when I actually have something to say. And believe that they are more than enough.

 To discuss (or not): “You have all the time you need to do the things that God has called you to do.” Do you agree? What has God been calling you to do lately? What is one change you could make that would give you more time to actually do that thing?

 

Suggested resource for further reading: Making Room for God in Your Hectic Life 

making room for god

 

10 Comments

  1. Keri, you’ve struck a chord here, as this is a concept dear to me: time and doing. I want to take the time God has given me, not wish for time he doesn’t desire me to have. I want to do the things that serve him, not pursue things he has not given me to do and enjoy.

    You know that for me, saying no is a skill I’ve learned over the years. I used to wonder if that meant I was missing out on something important, but the only cure for that is to say yes to everything and pursue every opportunity whether I have time for it or not. That way lies madness!

    Resting in God as I go through the day – some of which are quite busy! – has allowed me to leave the opportunities I’ve passed up in his hands, and to carry out the ones I have taken up and trust he will redeem them for his purposes.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking today, Keri. Now my brain hurts and IO need to nap.

    Tim

    • Thanks for stopping by with some words of wisdom, Tim. Our yes and no matter. One helpful truth for me: every yes is a no, and every no is a yes. When we say no to one thing, it creates space to say yes to something else–sometimes that something else is margin, or rest. And when we say yes, we’ve automatically said no to other things. That’s why paying attention to God’s calling to us, specifically, is so key. Thanks for stopping by!
      Cheers!

      • Keri, your take on the duality of no and yes is excellent!

        And by the way, when you eventually return to FB you’ll see a new face has entered that realm and sent you a friend request. Don’t go early just to see who, though!

        Oh ok, I admit it, it’s me. See you there when the FB sabbatical is over.

        • what? unbelievable. I leave FB for a week, and look what happens! See you there sometime after Aug. 15!

  2. Keri, so good to see a post from you. I enjoy reading them. I have been spending this summer taking the time to hear God’s voice better. It has been a spiritual journey that I have embarked on for July and August. I have been busy with my children, but I have been carving more time out of the day to just sit. I have also been attending different churches than my upbringing. I have gotten something specific out of each of them and one of them, I had quite the moving experience!

    • Dawn, thanks for stopping by! And for your patience. I’ve been in a season of abundance recently–God has given me a bumper crop of work projects, and I’ve been focusing energy there. But I’m trying to rearrange things so that I show up at my own blog a little more often. It sounds like you are on an interesting journey this summer–would love to hear more about how you’re listening to God.

      • I hope you received something from all of the cards I handed out at my conference. I couldn’t convince my group and now my term as President has ended. My father’s Alzheimer’s and death have really taken its toll on me. My mother also hurt my sister and me horribly. So, even with my great faith, I turned more to God. After Sunday School for my sons ended in June, I decided to go on a spiritual journey and visit a different church each Sunday and something that was not like my mainline denomination upbringing. So, the past three weeks, I have received specific messages at each place I have visited. I also felt overwhelmingly moved by the Holy spirit at one of the churches. I will be continuing through the rest of the summer and see where it takes me. God has put some wonderful spirit-filled people in my path. Keep in touch – maybe someday our paths will cross again.

        • Dawn
          It sounds like God has you on quite a journey, of both loss and renewal.
          I haven’t had responses from the cards, I think–but God is still giving me plenty of other work that is very satisfying–and perfect for this season of my life.
          I do hope our paths will cross again! Keep seeking God’s path.

  3. Keri,
    I found your book in the library on Listening and it truly was a God send. I had to go find more about what God is doing in your life because the book was so simple yet profound. I am recently separated and it really is causing me to take a good look at me and trying to hear what God is saying through all of my dumb decisions. It was amazing what I heard when I started listening…

    Thank You!!!

    • TMNG, you might like Keri’s “Deeply Loved”, which I reviewed here. It’s written as a devotional, but I read it as a chapter book on understanding the depths of God’s love. Good stuff.

      Cheers,
      Tim

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