1. Don't use the snooze button.
2. Set time limits for social media, internet use, and TV (and follow them!).
3. Watching a TV show? Workout or fold laundry or sew.
4. Use a crockpot and freeze the leftovers for another time.
5. Or, along those same lines, mix two batches of cookie dough and freeze half.
6. Choose simple hairstyles, moderate makeup use, and take economical showers.
7. Only check your email (and/or social media) twice a day.
8. Plan all your errands for the same day and do them strategically.
9. When out of the house, take a notebook, book, or other way to constructively use any time spent waiting.
10. Only use your phone during daylight.
Stuck in a hotel thanks to a "delayed" flight, my eyes snagged on the mountain of pillows on the huge bed. Those pillows looked like a heavenly cream puff for my head. (Why yes, I was hungry...why do you ask?) I lay down -- eeeeck! Sure my head was nestled in a cloud of synthetic fiber fluff, but it was pushing my chin toward my chest. And on my side was worse, with my neck bent unnaturally toward the ceiling. It was just too much. I sighed and reluctantly relinquished my bulbous pillow.
Ever done that in life? I have. Sometimes we see something and think, "That looks great! I want it." Only God says, "That's not for you." So we pout for a while and then start rationalizing: Maybe God doesn't know about this circumstance or maybe He just meant I should...share it once I get it. We sneak closer little by little, until its within reach and we snag it. Victory!
But not really. It's just too much for us. Too much time or money for us to use wisely. Too many demands on our love. Too much responsibility. We just weren't ready for it...not yet anyway. But who knew? Well, God did. It turns out it was His kindness and wisdom that made Him say, "No." And then, often to our reluctant relief, we simply have to let go of our "pillow" that is just a bit too fluffy.
As I boarded the plane, neither the flight attendant with all his experience or I will all my common sense knew the truth: It was a flight to nowhere. Oh sure, we landed in LAX, but without a departing flight -- it wasn't a destination, it was a prison. There was no way home from there.
In life, even with all our skills, experience, intelligence, and common sense, apart from God, our wisdom will take far from the imagined destination and land us in a prison. The flaws in our reasoning will lead us places we never wanted to go. The lies our emotions tell us will pull us into pits that appear bottomless. Alone, at the end of the day, the best judgment of man is doomed to keep hitting dead ends.
And that is where we sometimes have to be before purposefully turn to the One Who Always Knows the Truth. The bank accounts either flood or run dry before we seek the Giver of All Good Things. Our relationships hit rock bottom before we seriously consider God's counsel. We fight and grab at everything we think has a chance to give us satisfaction and joy, and it's only when it has dissolved into ashes in our hands that we are willing to say, "God, everything I've tried has failed. Please, can you bring me home?"
Home. That's where we want to be. At peace in the submission to God. In joy, assured of our open relationship with God (ie salvation). Father, bring me home where I belong. I'm done with LAX.
I walked as quickly as I could my connecting flight. They were so close to boarding I didn't sit down but took the time to ask about a different flight. The agent smiled and said, "There is another flight, but it's later. This will give you something to do while you wait." Neither of us had any way of knowing the truth. So I ignorantly boarded.
We took off. We landed. I found my next gate and that's when things went awry. The flight was delayed once. Then delayed again. Then -- even though "they" still called it "delayed" -- canceled is a more apt term for an overnight delay. I stood in line for nearly three hours trying to get a hotel and some food. And then, got a text: my flight was delayed two more hours. Great.
Even on days where "everything" goes wrong, God never ceases being Who He is. He provides on good days, bad days, Mondays and every day in between. Now is a good time to pause and list at least three things God has blessed you with today. It's not that God has to give us those things, He does because He is good and He loves us.
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.