Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda that God did not put there.” That is both true and convicting. We have enough time to do in this life what God has given us to do in it. If we focus our lives on Jesus, we will leave nothing undone. Nothing can thwart His sovereign will, and the work He has given us to do will get done.
Yet, how often are we harried and hurried, racing to fit one more thing into our schedule only to lament later that we will never have enough time to get it all done? As Mrs. Eliot suggested, perhaps we need to examine what it is we are busy doing. There is both rest and peace in the will of Jesus, not franticness and stress.
I have long been intrigued by the quote from Benjamin Disraeli, “Most people die with their music still locked up inside them.” I often couple this with Thoreau’s statement that “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.” We are always striving to do more and become more. Our passions fuel a fire that never wanes. All along we have the horrifying suspicion that we will not have the time to get it all done. The clock keeps ticking and each year we live goes by faster than the last. Our aches and pains remind us time is running out and we are nowhere near being done.
I am someone who bores easily but is never bored. What I mean is, I must always be doing something because there is always something I want to be doing. I don’t relax easily and am always looking forward to the next thing, whatever it is. The only time my heart is stilled is in my morning time with God, and less frequently when I become overwhelmed by His presence throughout my day. It’s when I am at peace. The rest of my life is a frantic scramble to create, sustain, and provide. These are things God placed inside of each of us. We are all created in His image, so it is no wonder we have such desires. But God has promised to provide for (Matthew 6:31-33) and sustain (Colossians 1:17) us. If our faith is strong enough, we no longer need to worry about those things. He’s got them handled.
Knowing that takes a lot off our plates, but my guess is we will always fill them back up with something else. And therein lies the rub. Elisabeth Elliot again: “If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda that God did not put there.” Before putting anything on your “to-do” list, we’ve got to ask, “Is this something God has given me to do?” If it is, add it to the list. If not, let it go. While it is true, there is not time enough to do all we want to do, it’s also true we have enough time to do all God has given us to do. We get in trouble and become overwhelmed when we try to add our desires on top of the list of God’s desires.
Only things done for the glory of God will matter in the end. If we take our eyes off Jesus, we may do many things, even magnificent things, but they will be worthless. Only what we do for Christ matters. Only those things that are His will should be our will. It’s time to stop busying ourselves with our selfish pursuits and start excelling in the pursuit of what God has given us to do. If we will keep our focus on Jesus and do only those things He has given us to do, we will leave nothing undone.