I love planners, schedules, and working by the clock or calendar. That is just my personality. I’ve learned more and more to not allow the clock to be my boss, but it is still very important to my day.
There are many ways in which the clock or calendar serves me well. It is too easy for me to allow the hours in the day to pass by and suddenly discover hunger has descended upon my family like a thief. Once we’re hungry, preparing a meal can be pure torture! The clock keeps me focused and reminds me to prepare a meal before hunger makes us crazy.
And just this morning, my digital calendar sent me a reminder notification that my mascara had reached its three-month date. Too often I have continued using mascara indefinitely, oblivious to when I actually first opened the tube. My lack of attentiveness has resulted in minor eye infections or irritations on more than one occasion. As much as it pains me to throw away what seems to be perfectly good mascara, I have learned that the three-month mark really is the best time to open a new tube.
Another recent situation reminded me just how important it is to pay attention to calendar cues, even when the need does not feel strong. My family discovered early in our homeschool venture that we work best on a year-round schedule. More than anything else, we need regular breaks. Not just the typical holiday breaks, and not two or three month breaks after nine month of hard work. No, we need frequent, short, regularly scheduled breaks in our lives. The ideal schedule for us is six weeks of school followed by a one-week break.
I have a problem, though. At the end of six weeks, I don’t feel like we need a break. We’re on a roll. We can keep going! But, inevitably that seventh week is a struggle if we push on and continue school. By the time we get to the eighth week, we are usually all stressed to the max and end up declaring an emergency week off. It has taken me five years, but I think I have finally learned my lesson. Six weeks on, one week off. It’s a must!
Last month I wrote a two-part post on Sabbath rest. Obviously, the idea of Sabbath is something that has been on my heart and mind for quite some time. I don’t find it a coincidence that our family needs not only a day of rest every week, but a week of rest every seventh week. As I continue to read through Deuteronomy, I am reminded that there were aspects of Israelite life that were to observe a Sabbath every week, every seventh year, and the year after seven seven-year cycles.
Although I do see the pattern of seven here, that is not actually the point of this post. The point instead lies with the importance of God’s created reminders that provide what we need when our feelings fail us. The clock reminds me to prepare a meal even before I get hungry. The calendar reminds me to replace my mascara or take a school break before I feel the need for either, just as it reminded the Israelites to observe their Sabbath rest and provide the same for their servants and slaves, their livestock, and their land.
Scripture reminds us to encourage one another daily, even when we don’t feel like we need it, that we will not become hardened by sin. We are reminded through God’s Word to pray continuously, to grab hold of wisdom at all times rather than only when we feel in dire need of it, and to be prepared for the return of the Lord even as life continues just as it has for millennia.
What reminders are appearing before you right now? Do you heed or ignore them? Do you proceed based on feeling or trust in the Giver of the reminders? Some may be simple – as simple as preparing a meal in a timely fashion. But others are so much more significant, such as the reminder to pray for protection for your marriage or for the future spouse of your children.
God creates reminders all around us. May we choose this week to heed them, and to walk in the incredible joy that comes from living life to the fullest in complete submission to the leadership of our Creator.