Chasing the acorn

My blog is all over the place!  The topics seem disjointed and unconnected.  Well that’s about right, as that is where my head is these days and is suiting for today’s entry.  Have you ever seen the short movie by Ice Age where the prehistoric squirrel incessantly chases an elusive acorn?  He tries so hard, but the acorn is just out of reach, or slips through his hands, every single time.

This is exactly how I have felt recently.  Bug-eyed, frantic, and even desperate for my acorn.   My acorns are different things on different days.  One day it is more time.  If only I had 2 more hours, I could catch up to life!  I would love to have my acorn of long Bible study times where the hours just melt away unnoticed.  It may also be sleep.  Just…sleep.  There are days when I count down the hours until my head meets the pillow once again.  Other times it is an uninterrupted conversation with my husband.  Not email, texts or voicemail; face-to-face time with my man sharing our days, hearts, ideas, and dreams.  Simply laughing together and being totally unproductive.  Ahh.   Or it may be sweet time with my children.  Not “do your homework, clean your room, take out the trash, do the dishes, pick up your shoes, don’t fight with your sibling, you’re wasting water in the shower” kind of time.  I mean tender moments cuddled on the couch asking how their day went.  Laughing over private family jokes after dinner.  Long, slow walks sharing dreams and asking the deep questions of life.  Still other times my elusive acorn is time all by myself, or a full-length conversation with a dear friend (even over coffee – bonus!).

So why aren’t I pursuing the things that are most important to me?  What are the circumstances standing in the way?

Sometimes the circumstances are out of my control.  Unexpected illness, car problems or others’ needs arise that I must handle.  But for the most part, I believe it is a flaw in how I arrange my days.  I think I figure that if I take care of the many little things, then I will have time for the big things.  However, that seldom proves to be reality, because there are truly endless little things to be done.  And, I put more on the day than it can handle.  I get so micro-managed that there is no wiggle room.  Today, for example, I was unavoidably detained trying to get somewhere, and I was running late as it was, and was delayed by something completely out of my control.  I grew more anxious with every second I waited and wound up giving myself a bad attitude and a whopping headache; and instead of attaining my acorn I wound up the one feeling like a nut!  Ha!

This leads me to brainstorm the things I can change.  I can take a few things off my list every day.  What’s left, I can organize into categories:  today, soon, whenever I can get to it.   Simply moving the proverbial peg from today to whenever I can get to it takes a whole lot of pressure off myself to perform above what the day can allow or I can handle.

I can also prioritize what is on today’s list according to my life’s priorities – God, family, everything else.  Hmm.  That would really shake things up!  I can give myself more wiggle room in the day for the unexpected things that seem to pop up at the worst possible times.

The fact is, we all get 24 hours in a day.  If we could bend time and squeeze another hour or two out of it, we’d only fill those up as well and be right back where we began – chasing the elusive acorn.

What’s your acorn today?  Maybe it’s more than one?  Are we chasing only our acorns – or someone else’s?

Everyone I talk with shares the same frustration and exhaustion.  It’s not a woe-is-me conversation, it’s a I’m gonna drop if something doesn’t give kind of conversation.  We must all look like that pathetic prehistoric squirrel – heart beating out of its chest, grabby fingers grasping for the impssible dream of catching, and enjoying, our acorns; panting, sweating, running and getting nowhere closer to our acorns.

Stop.  Sit still.  Breathe.  Breathe deeper.  Let the feeling come back to our fingers and toes.  Heart rates slow down and return to normal.  Mental fog dissipates.  We see things more clearly.  We can pray.  We can think.  We can act – not merely react to life.

The biggest proactive step I can take in organizing my day is, and it’s not a cliché, to give my day back to God.  He’s the one that gave it to me in the first place.  I can seek Him and His purposes, which are far bigger than mine.  When I’ve got my eyes on Him, He leads me down the paths He has chosen for me for these 24 hours since before time began.  Trust, relinquishing control, and faith are welcome traveling companions for the day.  When I seek His kingdom first, He provides some of the big things that are so important to both Him and me, because He has a lot more willpower to say no to the things that really don’t matter – the busy work I get bogged down in – than I ever will.

For the rest of this day, and for the days to come, I will reset my focus on Him, not on the to-do list.  God is the center of contentment – whatever the circumstances.  And smack dab in the center if His will, not mine, is where I want to be.  Try it with me!

Scriptures to think about…

Jeremiah 6:16, This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Matthew 6:33-34,  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jeremiah 29:13, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

Psalm 119:32, I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.  

James 4:13-17, Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.  Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. 

Paslm 37:5, Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 

Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father,” (Jesus) said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.

<<Check out the companion song to this blog on my Tunes page!>>

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