By Cec Murphey
I groaned as I stared at the pile of to-do things on my desk. I had been gone only one week, but the work hadn’t taken a vacation.
Like most people, my days were too full and I had too many things I felt I had to accomplish that day.
Our culture pushes us to rush, hurry, and multi-task so we can accomplish more. Because of technology, we can do more things than previous generations; yet we tend to feel we’ve accomplished less because we leave too many things undone.
I didn’t want more hours in my day; I simply wanted more control over what I had to do. I liked my work, wanted to do the best job I could, and to complete everything. I yearned to smile at a clean, neat desk at the end of a workday.
One morning I grumbled to God about all the things I had to finish that day. Just then, a thought flashed through my mind: Today I have time to do everything I need to do today.
The repetition of today struck me as the important part of the sentence. The words sounded incredibly simple (and they are). They were exactly what I needed to tell myself. The push to get things done came from some internal demand and certainly not from God. For example, I hated to leave unanswered email on my computer more than a few hours and felt I had to respond immediately. Friends complimented me on my quick response and that fed the internal push to accomplish everything each day.
Every morning for weeks, I repeated those words: “Today I have time to do everything I need to do today.” That sentence liberated me. I still struggle with the too-much-to-do-with-too-little-time issue, but repeating those words reminds me that I need to focus only on the now and not worry about what I can’t get done. I’ve learned to wait a day or two days before responding to less-urgent emails.
My simple prayer sounds a little like something Jesus said: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matt. 6:34 NLT).