Saturday, January 12, 2008

Plan "A" or Plan "B"? It's My Choice.

Everyone has heard me whine about how busy I am - and how pressured I get at work. Truth is, much of the reason for my busyness is my woefully inefficient use of time. There is so much more I want to do! So much more I could do, if only I could organize myself better - in every area of my life: time, money, tidyness. This is no small problem. It is something that has plagued me my whole life long. Recently, when it became more and more of a struggle at work, I decided that, instead of giving into my fear of being "found out" and running away from it (as if I was the only one that could see it!) I would fight the urge to try to hide my weakness. I knew that the answer to much prayer on this matter was that God would help me find a way to stop moving those ever larger piles of unorganized paper from my desk and into boxes where they were out of sight at least, if not out of mind. I determined to face the problem head on, look my weakness straight in the eye, and conquer it. My motto of late has been "Onward and upward. Through, not around." Well, this challenge would be the perfect opportunity to put that new motto into practice.

So I purposed to take a course on time management and even wrote that down as one of my goals for 2008. The plan was not only that I would I learn to manage my time better and thereby become more productive and hopefully less stressed, but it also occured to me that God could equip me to the point of being about to share with others, too. I've seen Him work like that before. He not only meets our needs but does so lavishly and abundantly, with enough left over to share with the same spirit of generosity with others. I started to sense His pleasure in my decision. My excitement, and my vision began to grow. Not only would I learn and put into practice all I could about time management, I was determined, with God's help, to become an expert to the point of being in a position to help others, too. Now that's the kind of victory that God takes us through to when we put our trust in Him. Not just conquerors, but more than conquerors!

Belinda had directed me some time ago to Harold Taylor's website, http://www.taylorintime.com/ . He is an expert in time management and it also a Christian. In fact I believe she wrote about it one of her blog posts last year. I looked longingly at the courses offered there and at the cost and decided to order an older set of DVDs which I could watch on my own and then also share with others - if and when the opportunity presented itself. It would be a start. But what I really wanted to do was to be on the cutting edge of the latest in time management information. I wanted to sit in a classroom with Harold Taylor and learn directly from the master. Considering the cost of his live seminars, "maybe next year", I told myself. Because sometimes God just doesn't move as fast as we'd like Him to.

Last night (Friday), not quite at the end a very long and crazy-busy week at work, I found myself at a drugstore in Newmarket right near closing time, picking up some medication for someone I work with. I was tired and fighting discouragement. I had wanted to take the day off and ended up putting in a very packed ten and a half hours instead. My cell phone rang. It was Belinda. She rarely calls me outside of work hours. What could possibly be up?

"Have you read The Word Guild emails?" she queried. There was a distinct note of excitement in her voice. "There's an email from Harold Taylor! He has two spots open in his time management seminar next Thursday! He's inviting anyone who belongs to The Word Guild to come free of charge! You just have to email him directly..."

I nearly jumped out of my skin. I couldn't get out of that drug store and back to a computer fast enough. I was SURE that all the disorganized writers in the world would get to him before I ever could. It took me a minute or two to calm down and remember that if God wanted me there, He could certainly take care of all the details. Every last one. Including making sure I got through to Harold in time. And if I didn't, well, then that would mean I wasn't supposed to be there anyway.

So I got back to my office, emailed Harold immediately, telling him that taking a time management course had been one of my goals for this year, thanking him for his generosity and letting him know that I understood if both spaces had already been filled, as I was sure they would be. Then I left it with the Lord. I figured it would be at least Monday until I heard back as this was his work email and I was sending my message late on a Friday evening.

Well, Harold Taylor must be a night owl, because I got an email back from him at exactly midnight. I opened it with bated breath. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away," I thought. I was all ready to be let down.

"Susan, you were meant to go," the message read. "I'll send map, survey sheet and instructions later. Thanks. God bless. Harold."

HALLELUJAH!!!! YIPPEE!!!! YAHOO!!!! GLORY!!!! GLORY!!!!

IS GOD GOOD OR WHAT????

Do you think He really wants me to become an "expert" (compared to what I know now) in time management and share my skills with others? Well, only time will tell for sure, but it certainly looks like things are heading in that direction. I'll keep you "posted" on the journey. In fact, by the time I post again next Friday, I will have attended the course and you can bet I will bring back a report.

I'll have to find a power suit to wear. After all, the room will be filled with people - mostly business people, I presume - who can afford to be there! Along with one incredibly grateful, and still incredulous time management expert wannabe... Me!

I was born with a disorganized brain. That's the way God made me and trust me, I have often wondered why, and even outright grumbled and complained. The enemy has certainly attempted to work through my weaknesses in an effort to take me out of the game - to discourage, to side-track, even to completely derail me from God's purposes for my life. But it's God who always has been in control of Plan A... Plan A or Plan B, the choice is ours.

"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." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I'm thinking that in equal measure to how I lay it down on the altar for his use, God is planning to use my shortcomings to help others and to bring glory to Himself. That's the God that directs the paths of my life when I give him the reins.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5,6 ( This was my mom's "life verse". Thanks, Mom! How true.)

10 comments:

gracie said...

Susan,
That is wonderful, please put me at the top of the list for the people you'll help once you've been helped! :o)

Anonymous said...

Susan,

Wow what a great story of God's awesome gifts to us when we least expect them, he is blessing you for sure.... Humm time management, doesn't God have perfect time Management...Smiles

LL

Anonymous said...

hmm... 11:59PM. Someone else I know is also a night owl. :)

Anonymous said...

oops... that might have been inappropriate - sorry... but i'm nocturnal too, so i was just wanting to share that...
It's exciting that you get to go to the workshop. Best wishes. :)

Susan said...

I sure am an night-owl too! That's when all my best work gets done. :)

Thanks for your blessings, LL and Gracie... The best thing about blogging is the community that springs up from it. God is good!

Joyful Fox said...

I am excited for you...time management is so important to accomplish all He has to do in an orderly way...as He has done with this earth and all He created...all of us need work in time management...some a little more than others...and for various reasons...I loved what you said about the community of bloggers. I'm just learning about that and even about community period...mmm...sounds like another posting. I'm looking forward to hear your report....it may just be like taking a drink from a fire hydrant...and you'll just gush from new wisdom...I'll look forward to it.

night owl said...

can anyone write a blog here? or is it just for a group of friends? :S i'm not really sure how blogging works period... sorry... :) but i really enjoy reading yours - i just discovered this page! :)

night owl said...

susan, my middle name is susan (first name is night owl of course)... so on top of us both being nocturnal, i'm naturally inclined to like you as we have so much in common without even knowing each other.. :)

Belinda said...

Dear Night Owl,
I'm so glad you found our blog and are enjoying it.

Yes, we are a group of friends and writers. Knowing that someone out there is blessed by what God gives us to say, is what keeps us writing.

God bless you and I hope you visit often.

Belinda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.