Today's Lectionary Text
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
I love filling out my planner. I start my week by looking ahead at my digital calendar and then writing it all down in a weekly planner. I love my planner so much I take time to decorate it with fun-colored stickers or markers. I like having the colorful stickers to brighten up the page and just make a stressful week seem a little more fun.
But as a natural planner, I really like having my day organized with to-do lists to keep me focused on what needs to get done. I have discovered over time, though, that as much as I might plan out how my day will look; nothing ever goes exactly to plan.
Some days I will have a long list of tasks to check off only to get caught in a phone call or having to clean up a leak in the chapel. Especially now, plans seem to always be changing, as someone may be exposed to COVID-19 and needs to quarantine, or there is a snowstorm and working in the office is a no-go. Things are always changing, yet it can be hard for me to change my plans, to cross out a meeting or event, to put off a to-do until the next day.
I hate changing my plans, but often it is in the change of plans that I experience God. When I get out of my routine, I can listen to the things that might be more important than just what is on my to-do list. For instance, taking time to pick up a call from a friend who is going through a hard time. Or sitting with someone who is mourning. It might even be running into a friend and starting up a conversation and catching up.
There is time for all of these things each day, and often we don’t plan for them. But if we allow the Holy Spirit to move and breathe and listen to how we can respond, we might find new things beyond our routines, and that is OK. I am still going to write in my planner, but I am also going to embrace things not going to plan and know there might be unexpected new things.
— Maddi Baugous
Omaha First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
God of all, we want to plan everything. We want to control each thing, but we know things will never go the ways we expect. Help us embrace the changes we go through each day, knowing there is room for everything. Together we pray. Amen.
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