That doesn’t mean that I don’t have more ways to spend it than hours to waste, of course. The never-ending to-do list looms before me, naming chores that need to be done…eventually. And there are certain options that are only available to me today from which I could choose - driving through the local state park to see the redbuds in bloom, lunching on a free pizza that comes to me with the ticket stub to a recent baseball game, and watching my son’s church-league softball team play in the evening hours.
The glorious freedom of choice on such a day is temporal, of course, filling only the first moments of the morning. Surely soon I must make plans or the hours will hurry by and be lost forever from the dwindling supply, the exciting possibilities wasted by my inactivity, unless that, too, is a deliberate choice.
In reality, of course, the day was scheduled long before I was born. God has plans for me, a destiny I’m to fulfill, a purpose I’m to be about. The Bible says He knows exactly how many I have and watches how I spend them, seeing every moment from when I rise through when I lay me down to rest, eternally as well as for a too-brief over-nighter or a quick nap. The wonder of it all is that He lets me choose what to do with them. I get to decide whether they’ll be devoted to Him and His purposes or simply lived to please myself. Either way, He loves me just the same.
And because He demands nothing of me, I choose to give Him the hours available to me as a gift, to live them according to His ways and to seek to fulfill His plans for my days. Perhaps to reflect that I’ve given my own chance to choose away, I’ve purposed to ask my husband at the start of such a day if there’s anything he needs for me to do for him. Sometimes his requests are small and easily accomplished; clean socks in his drawer, an envelope to be put in the mail. On other days he has errands he needs run that he can’t get to in his more scheduled workweek. His gratitude at having those tasks lifted from his shoulders more than makes up for any personal pleasure I pass up to accomplish them.
Don’t get me wrong; many are the days off that are devoted to nothing but pleasing myself, planned ahead of time and greatly anticipated in advance of their arrival . But I’ve learned that the greatest joy of an unscheduled day is sometimes found in simply giving the choice of how to fill it away.
“…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of the came to be.”
(Psalm 139:16 NIV)
(Psalm 139:16 NIV)