Have you ever thought about the two little words “be flexible?” I used to think that they were meant for someone else! My days were planned out to a “T” and everything flowed in the most efficient, timely manner possible. And boy did my pants get in a bunch if something messed that up, like someone forgetting something at home and having to run back, or a friend that needed something but it was out of the way and I didn’t have time. As I’ve gotten older, that’s been ironed out some, but this COVID season has pretty much obliterated my type-A perfectly scheduled life.
Last week my kids were supposed to go to school on Tuesday and Friday, so everything was planned around that. Now they are going Monday and Thursday… yet again, rescheduling. I needed to go to the doctor, but found out I couldn’t take the kids, so I had to get a babysitter. Then my son got sick with a fever, so I cancelled the babysitter and rescheduled the appointment.
Life these days seems so uncertain and plans go up in the air, even things that are normally regimented and easy to plan. This has taught me a few things.
First, being so incredibly planned led to personal irritation and frustration when my selfish desire of efficiency and timeliness weren’t met. These expectations created tension in my relationships with my family and stole our joy. Choosing to be flexible when I can do so creates less stress and more peace for everyone. For example, we will leave in the 9 o’clock hour instead of 9 o’clock sharp.
Second, the lack of flexibility left little room for God to work. I often missed God opportunities. Like the opportunity to stop and say hello to a friend that needed encouragement, instead of just dropping off her Tupperware container and running so I could get onto the next task. Or not stopping to speak to someone at the grocery store and missing the blessing of a good story.
Third, this has reminded me that I am not in control of a single minute of my life. John 15:5 says,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I am powerless to do anything without God. Plus, all my striving, expectations and planning are focused on ME and my attempting to produce the fruit that I desire, not the fruit that God desires.
I pray that as we all learn to be flexible and give up control, that we can pray,
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”
Let this become your mantra as you continue through these days and choose better fruit.