Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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Some people have wall-to-wall carpet. Me? I have a wall-to-wall schedule. Maybe you do too. It was like that even when I had to take my daughter to college years ago. She had just returned from a missions trip to Manila and so had I. We had one day to get her to Chicago for college. Not only did we have to get her to school that day, but on that particular Friday, I had to produce some of these radio programs.
So I had to produce radio, deliver a daughter, I mean everything was perfectly timed. No room for anything to go wrong. And then we landed at O'Hare Airport to learn that there had been nine inches of rain over night. It closed the airport totally, flooded it closed. O'Hare was Camp O'Hare, an island for a day.
So, here were the five Hutchcrafts in a mountain of moving to college with luggage all around us. Well, my plans said I had to be at that radio studio. Uh... No, I didn't! My plan said my daughter had to be at college that day. Uh... No! In fact, thousands of people were fighting over telephones there (before cell phones) to change their plans. Every one of them probably had to be somewhere that day. No, they didn't! There are lots of days like that.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Two-Word Tranquilizer."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from James 4 - I'll begin at verse 13. "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this city or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, make money.'" Or take your daughter to college, do radio programs. You know. "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'"
Now, I have a confession to make. For years I have been a little turned off by the people who just, you know, kind of clichéishly say, "Lord willing" every other sentence. I said that was a confession; I do confess that. You know what? I'm actually beginning to understand the peace-giving power of those two words, "Lord willing."
James says here, "When you make your plans say, "If the Lord wills, we will." See, now, I'm a planner. I want to make every time, space, and every segment of my life count. So I schedule very well, and you should. Psalm 90:12 says, "Lord, teach us to number our days aright so we may apply our hearts to wisdom." But in our wall-to-wall schedules, we rule out God's right to re-schedule our day, to interrupt, to slow us down, to cancel, and He often does.
I began to realize how much of my own stress I create by not saying, "Lord, here's my list, here's my goal, here's my plan, here's my schedule. Now, Lord, you have every right to change it, and I'll assume if it changes, the changes are from you." There is so much frustration when car trouble wrecks the plan, or illness, or a tragedy you have to respond to, or a flooded airport. But I can avoid so much frustration if I allow the God of heaven to be the Lord of my almighty, untouchable schedule. And I do that with two words, "Lord willing" spoken or unspoken, but consciously recognizing the sovereignty of Almighty God.
You can actually relax if you'll turn over the schedules and the lists of your life to Him. "Lord willing." It is for us stress filled planners a powerful two-word tranquilizer.