Over the weekend, I did a little gardening at our new house in DC. By the way, when I say gardening, you should be thinking more “hacking my way through a rainforest” and less “planting nice little flowers.” I’m not 100% sure anyone has done anything remotely resembling yard work at this house for a decade or more. I was ripping out weeds, slashing back over grown bushes and doing anything else that would make my allergies go crazy.
Then this morning, I realized I need to do the same thing with my calendar. It’s gotten a little overgrown and could use some pruning. Too many meetings, too many commitments, too much wasted time and too many obligations that aren’t serving our church or my family well. For the record, I do realize I just compared people to weeds and that’s where my little analogy gets me in trouble. I know everyone on my calendar is immensely valuable in God’s eyes and I’m called to love them. But I also know I’m not loving anyone well by letting myself get overwhelmed or depleted.
Personal sanity and health would be enough of a reason to get control of our calendars. But for those of us who follow Jesus, there’s something even more significant at stake. We’re called to a life of mission – a life of loving service to others and a life of sharing the gospel that transformed us. But that kind of mission requires margin. For many of us, the greatest obstacle to getting to know our neighbors, to interacting with co-workers outside of the office and to meeting people at the local coffee shop is time. If we’re honest, we don’t have time to be used by God. And that’s a really big problem.
At Restoration City, we’re passionate about being a community on mission. We exist for the good of our city and the benefit of people who don’t go to our church. We live to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”(1 Peter 2:9) So, when we don’t have time to do the thing God saved us to do, something needs to change. How overgrown is your calendar right now? My guess is there are meetings you don’t really need to attend. My guess is there are chunks of time that are being totally wasted – watching reality tv while sort of answering emails on your phone. There are requests we need to say no to so we can say yes to the things God is asking us to do.
My simple encouragement to all of us today is to take a hard look at our calendars and make the changes we need to create margin. You’ll be happier and more fruitful if you do.