In December 2004, I finished college a semester earlier than expected and breathed a huge sigh of relief. In those last couple of years, I was a commuter student, driving 60 minutes to school each day, a youth pastor’s wife, driving 60 minutes (the other direction), to church twice a week and a newlywed, trying to figure out what it meant to be a wife. There was a lot going on.
My last semester of college I took 21 credit hours to finish a semester early. Being able to get started in the “real world”, seemed like a great idea.
The stress and stretch of that semester is what I most remember. Long hours of studying and driving, as well as physical symptoms of the stress of my schedule.
I was running hard to accomplish something good, but the striving to accomplish it through my own power came at a cost.
Even now, I constantly find myself striving for things through my own power, but that is not the picture I get from the scripture here:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
When I read this scripture, I see an invitation to trade my striving for an attitude of simplicity and rest. That I can believe what God says he will do, instead of what I am striving to accomplish. He invites us to peace, to renewal and to his paths, meadows and streams. That sounds like a much better place to be than in the middle of my striving. This week, I would challenge you to invite the Holy Spirit into the scheduling of your calendar. Time can’t be given back. Seek His will before you make any commitments.
Amanda Simmonds is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years she has also used her gifts serving on the Leadership Team. Currently, Amanda's role is in the operations of The Table and also organizing our Small Group Ministry.