Confession: I’m a control freak.
Truth be told, I spend most of my days trying to control things:
- How clean my house is (not easy, with four kids).
- How others view me (harder, the more people you know).
- How nice my beard looks (beard oil, anyone?).
Basically, I try and control everything. Every single day.
But more than my image or my age, what I really want to control is my time.
The Hardest Thing For Us To Give God Is Our Time
I want to follow Jesus with everything I have, sure. And I’m making some progress:
- I gave up my dream of running a company to become the pastor of a church I didn’t want to start.
- I started tithing while getting my master’s degree (aka – I gave money away to a church when I was pretty much broke).
- I’ve forgiven people who have hurt me in ways that I never could have imagined.
All this to say, I’ve tried to give God everything. But maybe the hardest thing for me to turn over to Jesus has been my time—handing over my daily agenda for his.
Because I have meetings to be at. Deadlines to hit. Sermons to write. Bills that have to be paid. A lawn that needs to be mowed. And kids that require three meals a day to survive. (Okay, truth be told, my wife is the only reason my kids eat and are still alive.)
The older I became, the more I realized how little control I actually have. At some point, I stopped trying to do what I wanted to do, and now, each morning, I simply ask God what his plan is. God, what do you want me to do today? Who do you want me to meet with? How can I join you in what you want to do today? Where do you want me to go?
Our lives are a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. We do the same things over and over and over. We spend days, months, years, and decades of our lives knowing, for the most part, exactly what those days, months, years, and decades will bring:
Alarm clock. Go to the bathroom after holding it for hours. Let the dogs out. ™ Shower. Eat breakfast. Drive to work. Clock in. Work. Eat lunch. Clock out. Go home. Eat dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing the same thing every day. In this ever-changing world, there’s actually something appealing about faithfully working the same job for thirty years, living in the same house for generations, and grabbing coffee with the same group of friends at the same coffee shop every morning. We need more of that!
But what’s normal becomes supernatural when we allow Jesus to take control of how we spend our time.
What’s normal becomes supernatural when we allow Jesus to take control of how we spend our time.
Most people wish their lives had a little more adventure. Most people hope for something more than the 9 to 5. Most people want to be used by God.
They’re just not sure where to start.
How God Spoke To Me Through A Punk Kid
As I was pulling out of my garage a few weeks back, I crossed paths with a couple of young neighbor kids shooting baskets into the hoop on their driveway.
I rolled down my window as I was driving past, “Nice hoop!” I said, as a way of saying hi to the boys.
The oldest-looking of the kids quickly responded, “Why don’t you get us a new hoop?!”
I looked up to see that the backboard on the hoop was broken, and the whole thing was struggling to stay upright. It was honestly pretty sad-looking.
At first, I was taken back by the kid’s sassy answer. The punk actually wants me to get him a new hoop?! Get your own hoop, kid. But a few minutes later, I heard God say, Actually, why don’t you get them a new hoop, Adam?
Oh. Okay, God.
A few hours later, I mentioned the new hoop to a friend. After our convo, I posted on Facebook about the boys and their broken-down hoop, asking if people wanted to help.
Immediately, people started responding. Within an hour, I had a hoop in perfect condition that a single mom was wanting to give away, two basketballs and some other gear from a local head basketball coach, and a pickup truck from a guy who was willing to go get the hoop and drop it off for the boys.
The next day I stopped by the house where the two neighbor boys lived and knocked on the door. Their mom answered, and I asked if she would be willing to step outside and talk. I told her that I’d seen that their basketball hoop was in rough shape and that someone was going to drop off a new hoop and some basketball gear.
The mom quickly changed from looking defensive, worried that her boys had done something wrong, to being overjoyed.
“You don’t need to do this,” she said.
“Actually, I do need to,” I said, explaining that the idea for the new hoop didn’t come from me. I went on to say that the only stipulation was that I wanted it to be a gift from her to her boys. She would be the hero, not us. She was speechless.
The next day came, and the basketball coach dropped off two basketballs, two awesome gym bags, and two Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School Rough Riders basketball shirts. Later, the hoop arrived in the back of a pickup truck of a guy whose son is battling cancer.
“Thank you for letting me help deliver this hoop,” he said. “It feels really good to do something nice for someone else when so many nice things have been done for us.”
Weeks have passed, and daily the boys are outside shooting hoops. I honestly thought they’d maybe enjoy it for a few days and then move on to the next thing. Even if that was the case, it still would have been worth it—because when we do something that God tells us to do, there shouldn’t be any strings attached, no expectations of even receiving a thank you. But instead, the boys are out there shooting hoops for hours. It’s fantastic.
Love Makes Every Day An Adventure
When I planned my day the morning that I drove past the boys with the sad-looking hoop, I had no idea I’d be looking for a new basketball hoop. God’s plan for the day was so much better than my own.
Following Jesus is an adventure. You never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll meet.
What if our agenda was about people? What if our agenda was about names? What if our agenda was about stories? Maybe then our agenda would look more like God’s adventure.
Love opens us up to the adventure. Love opens us to the people, the names, the stories. Without love, we stay closed off. Without love, our agenda matters more.
Love pushes us outside the walls of our agenda and into the adventure God has in store for us.
Love makes every day an adventure.