Whose Day Is It?
Buzzing rings by the bedside as you chaotically swing your arm and search for the snooze. It’s a new day. What goes through your head? Maybe your to-do list that sits in your planner. Maybe the schedule of school, practices, or meetings fill up your mind as you plan your day. Even if you’re not the type who loves check-lists, it won’t take long before an informal list of tasks amasses in your brain of how you expect to spend your day. But it is only your day?
It’s far too easy for our focus each morning to fall and stay upon ourselves. In fact, it sneaks in between a whole lot of unselfish actions. After all, our to-do lists are mostly full of tasks we will do for others. Laundry to clean and fold that isn’t ours. Food to make for others. Bills to pay, toys to pick up, meetings to attend—all for the good of others. These tasks consume our small days, but they tend to keep the focus on our own little world. They are important, yet if we’re not careful we’ll miss out on something even more important in the midst of our small days.
When we wake up believing this is our day, this narrow perspective improperly fixes our gaze. Before long we find ourselves running errands at the grocery store, and the people in the line turn out to be roadblocks to accomplishing our tasks. The backup of cars from an accident becomes a mere frustration that’s keeping us from doing our important work. The co-worker asking questions in the meeting becomes nothing but an adversary to our progress. The child having a rough morning turns into an obstacle we need to steamroll past in order to achieve our goals. Before we know it we’ve walked through our job, community, conversations, and even our home with our eyes fixed on ourselves.
But God calls us to more than just our own day. Every morning we wake up he gives us a day in the world he has made. He puts breath in our lungs and invites us to walk in his day. He bids us each morning to enter into his world that he is actively ruling. That world is so much bigger than our to-do list.
God beckons us to lift our eyes up from our own plans and remember that we are part of something bigger. From the fullness of time, the Lord has purposed to unite all things in heaven and earth to him (Eph. 1:9-10). And he’s doing it today. We are not merely mothers, fathers, employees, or students in our own sphere of influence. But we are mothers, fathers, employees, or students in our Father’s world that is actively being brought to its purposeful and beautiful fruition.
Each day the Lord invites us to look around at how we might take part. Instead of a roadblock, the crowd of people at the grocery are image-bearers of God himself whom have been sovereignly put in our path. The traffic jam isn’t only a hindrance, but a tragedy for a family, a wife, a son, and an opportunity for us to plead to the Lord of heaven on their behalf. The unruly child isn’t only an obstacle, but perhaps the means by which the Lord might grow our own understanding of who he is today. These interruptions allow us to minister with a word of encouragement, demonstrate patience, silently pray, or even quietly learn.
This doesn’t mean our tasks don’t matter, and we need to constantly find grander jobs to do. In fact, this renewed perspective places greater worth on each of our to-do items. Instead of our actions being the main star of our own B-list biopic, they are part of something weightier. Our small life plays a part in an epic masterpiece. Like a skilled author, God uses our little piece of the story and adds depth, beauty, and development to his purposes in the world.
We get to be part of the most beautiful redemption story ever written: the story of our God restoring his people to himself. Every one of the small things we do in our twenty-four hour days is a part of his day of bringing beauty, goodness, and restoration to the world.
Switching our way of thinking will probably not change very much of the particulars of our day. However, it can alter how we approach each of those tasks. When we walk in Christ’s day, our patience is bolstered when things don’t go as planned, because we can remember we are merely walking in the plans of our good Father. When we stop seeing ourselves as the main character, we may discover the people who were annoying obstacles become our teachers. And instead of scrubbing the counter in order to check off a box, we can realize that each exertion of our hand on that mess brings another piece of order and beauty to our Father’s world. We’re a part of something beautiful happening each day. We’re a part of our Lord’s incredible work of redemption on this earth. Let’s walk in his day.