What would my schedule look like if God was in charge of it? Bill Hybels presents this probing question in his newest book Simplify. Somehow I haven’t been able to shake the idea from my mind.
What if my day was ordered by, around, and for God? What if he was what I sought the most as I went throughout my day?
We’re not the first people to resonate with such questions. Throughout scripture we meet brave men and women whose desire for God dictated how they lived—both in life-determining decisions and in daily to-dos.
The writers of Psalms often penned their prayers and struggles with placing God before everything else. Psalm 119:17–24 offers us a particularly vivid example as the anonymous penman pours out his pleas night and day. People scorn him. Princes plot against him. But he doesn’t just pray for protection. He doesn’t just ask God to give relief. Instead he prays with a bigger purpose in mind.
Tucked within these obscure verses, we find the writer asking for many of the same things we pray for each day. Things like favor, provision, spiritual insight, and protection. But his motive is so different and his purpose so much more God-focused than my own daily requests.
Does my desire for and delight in God determine how I ask for things? If I’m honest, most days I pray for the sickness to end, project to succeed, or errands to get done so that I can breathe a sigh of relief. I might relish the joy of a job completed or rejoice that God answered my request. But how often do I delight in sensing more of God in his gifts?
So often we spend our days running from one thing to the next. We want life to work. And when it doesn’t, we often find ourselves feeling frustrated with God. Not this writer. His desire for God drove his life—he would seek, obey, and enjoy God even when people wore him out and rest felt far off. Does our longing for God look like this man’s? Does our desire for him decide how we live each day?
The blessings, answers, insights, and joys are only conduits. They’re meant to drive us to the one who delights us more than easy answers and accomplished projects. When pursuing God drives our prayer life and to dos, we focus less outcomes and more on the things God is doing in and around us. Circumstances become less important. And even if they don’t change, we deepen and grow.
So I’m trying to make small strides in how I live and what I pray. Instead of just focusing on my list, I’m trying to listen first and then look for God a little more throughout my day.
What would your schedule look like today if God was in charge of it?