Here is how I wanted my day to go, and here is how my day went:
I wanted to read the Bible for an hour and then walk for 45 minutes, as is my custom. But my son barged into my room frantic because he had overslept. So I drove him to work, and then my husband needed a ride to work. On the way he asked if I could take him to Home Depot, and when we got there his boss called and said to go to his house (in the opposite direction) to pick up equipment for the job.
I was tempted to get mad at my husband for cutting into my Bible-reading time. And then I thought to myself: There’s something wrong with that—being angry with someone for cutting into your Bible time. Or to put it another way—sinning against someone for cutting into your Bible time.
Then I felt confused, because my own preferred evaluation of what makes for a godly day was suddenly in the dock. Which is more biblical—reading a heap of Bible, or reading the Bible on the fly and submitting in love to my husband?
Then I had to go to Sam’s Club to return a year’s worth of paper napkins that I mistook for paper towels. So I picked up a few other things while I was there. (Which may or may not have been a good use of time in God’s view, I don’t know.)
Then I decided to make pulled pork for dinner, because I figured that dinner is my reasonable contribution to the family unit. But the recipe called for a can of root beer. So I had to ride to the store just for that. That’s when I noticed that my husband had left his lunch bag on the backseat of the car when I dropped him off, so I schlepped it to the work site. (Another 20 minutes of not reading the Bible, not exercising, and not writing a column.)
Then I remembered I should fax my mother’s prescriptions to her mail-order supplier, so I found a store with a fax machine and got that out of the way. The car needed an oil change, which I could have put off a few more days, but it would have to be done eventually. So I looked into going to Jiffy Lube but then decided to dig up my mechanic’s bill from last year to see what he charged for that. Later, my son came home unexpectedly early from work so I got up from the computer and talked with him for a while, reasoning on the spot that God would rather me talk to my son than get a few sentences written, and that He would supply the typing time if I would trust Him with it and show love to my son.
There was not a 100 percent certainty in any of the choices I made in the course of the day. Only the desire to go where I thought the Holy Spirit was leading me. And in every instance, I thought He was training me in two things: to release my control and petrified preferences, and to trust in Him to make things turn out for the best if I will yield to His nudging.
I think the Lord is trying to stretch and challenge my concept of what a well-spent day is. And it may turn out that yielding moment-by-moment to His voice is more pleasing to Him than two hours a day in the Bible and getting my entire to-do list knocked out.