As I began to embark on this journey of freedom, God allowed me to see that I needed to be free from anxiety, fear, and worries about the future.
He showed me that there were a few obstacles in particular that were contributing to the anxiety I was having, one of which I am going to share with you today.
That obstacle is, time.
The other day I ventured out onto the beach after work. I had worked an overnight shift and decided that I was going to head straight there in time to watch the sunrise– I was working on taking photos for this week’s blog posts. Anyway, I arrived a little earlier than the beach’s opening time. Along the pathway, this is what I saw.
For some strange reason I wanted to get adventurous. I started to put one foot out in front of me with intentions of standing on one of the rocks. But the thought of no one being there to save me if I accidentally fell in prevented me from doing so.
I began to entertain the idea, letting my mind wander off into what if’s.
What if the tide got too strong and I somehow lost my balance and fell in? What if I became unconscious after suffering a fall and drifted far out where nobody could find me?
I know… it’s pretty horrific to think about. The thought alone scared me enough not to want to go anywhere near the rocks in the water.
It would’ve been a case of, “she was at the wrong place at the wrong time”— a case of “she never should’ve been there without a lifeguard on duty.”
Now, I don’t know what made me entertain those thoughts (perhaps I’ve seen too many movies), but the idea of time kept lingering with me.
I kept having thoughts like, maybe I shouldn’t be here right now and I shouldn’t have come here this early… maybe I should’ve came later when a lifeguard was here. I guess I kept thinking about what if something bad happened.
But the swishing of the waves calmed me and reassured me. I was here having a good time– a peaceful time, enjoying the breeze, the sun, and the waves, then fear came along trying to ruin it for me… like always.
I’d be having a good time. Enjoying my time. Then the issue of time would arise.
Suddenly, I would feel the fear of not having enough time encroaching upon me, sending me into panic mode as I busied myself with chores and tasks thinking it would both save and buy me time.
As human beings, we’re always worried about time. We have this overarching fear and anxiety that it could run out at any moment. So, we think the best thing to do is to make sure that we do all that we can before time is up. We hear the clock ticking in the background and we’re frightened about the moment it’s going to stop. We become afraid that we will have come to the end of our ropes without ever having accomplished all that we wanted to in life. There’s just not enough time, we say.
Then there’s the dreaded, “Am I wasting my time?” Should I be doing this? Should I be doing that? Is it benefitting me anything? What should I be doing? The constant fear that we aren’t utilizing our time correctly. The constant anxiety we face worrying about what it is that what we should be doing instead torments us.
And then there’s the ship. I don’t know about you but I have this constant fear of missing the ship–this massive ship that comes to take everyone somewhere and somehow I’m not on it. I’m standing on shore waving my arms in hopes that it will come back, but it never does.
Somehow I’ve relaxed a little bit too long. Got a little bit too comfortable, or too lazy as some people would say and I’ve MISSED THE SHIP! I can’t be the only one having this ship dream.
Either way, the thought behind this dream is that, I’ve somehow missed the mark. I was not at the right place at the right time. I got left behind.
So, I ask God, “What’s the remedy for this?” This constant fear of time– not having enough of it– not knowing what to do with it– the fear of running out of it.
The answer is that we’ve placed this burden upon ourselves. Though God desires us to be useful with our time and mindful of it, He doesn’t want us to be fearful in the process. We’ve come to define ourselves by the societal standards of the world, placing time markers on our lives.
Did God set these markers or did we?
We want to have this by that time and have that done by this time, all the while never consulting God in the process (Prov. 16:9).
We can expect that if we know God and hear from God then we can move by His spirit.
There are times when He expects us to work and there are times when He expects us to relax.
We can trust that if we have a relationship with Him that He will lead us in the way that we should go (Prov. 3:5-6). We don’t need to busy ourselves or create extra tasks for ourselves that won’t amount to anything.
We can pray to be both peaceful and productive and live a life according to His standards and not our own.