I bought a new daybook after Christmas. It’s one of my favorite things to do! I have to find just the right one. Will my calendar be full of beach scenes, or flowers and nature? Or maybe Bible quotes and devotions to read? Favorite writer quotes and suggestions? Or artwork and inspiration? This year I settled on a simple calendar with plenty of room for my scribblings and reminders. I love filling in those blank spots with deadlines and commitments, with ideas for stories, and the time and place of everything from lunch with a friend to a week at a conference or retreat. This is life in all of its glory. We get three-hundred and sixty-five do-overs and each day becomes even that more precious when we see our plans in writing. Calendars are important because they offer us a fresh start.
But the Lord already knows about our year. He has that big calendar in the sky:
“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)
Isn’t it comforting to know that while we ponder the best day-planner and fill in the white space, God has already set our plans on the agenda? Sometimes, we don’t like the plans He has in mind and it takes us a while to come around. But each year we’re offered a blank slate, a new forgiveness that brings the promise of the Christmas child with it and carries us through the life of our Lord and His sacrifice for us. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Dost thy love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” (And this quote is forever etched in my Southern brain from the sign at Tara in “Gone With the Wind.”)
Life is made of time but we sometimes forget that the best time management is just to listen and take in all the bounty and beauty of a fresh, new slate. There is something to be said about empty spaces that lack the clutter of life. My prayer for you in this new year is that you will fill your empty spaces with love, hope, and the calm of knowing you are in good hands, no matter the good and the bad of our days. I’m going to take a moment each day to say a prayer before I make my list and jot down my plans. I hope that daily prayer will cover my empty spaces in good things. I hope the same for you, too. Happy 2018! Do you have big plans for this new slate?
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