Apparently, there are 24 hours in one day. I’ve known this for most of my life, and the clocks of the world seem to confirm it. But, if I’m being honest, the older I get, and more significantly, the older my kids get, the less I believe it. There are 8 hours in a school / work day, 8 hours before and after (the most exhausting if you ask me) and then 8(ish) hours of sleep; twenty-four hours. Well, you know what? I call BULLS*IT … at least most days, I do. Like when sleep is sparse but somehow my kids have more energy than usual and my other half is on a different page. Also, on the days of big projects, presentations or projectile vomit, coupled with tears, tests or team sports. Any combination is a recipe for disaster. I know what the number say, but that’s rarely how it feels. (Anyone else remember a certain Saved By The Bell episode?) I would go so far as to say that most of the time, THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME.
So, what are we doing here? Well, I have a secret weapon that makes me no less scatterbrained, but much more productive. Now before I share this, you should know that it requires very little energy, but a tremendous amount of faith. It takes almost no time, but often needs to be repeated and it always comes with at least one string attached. Okay, before I scare you off, here it is.
Pray for extended time.
That’s it! In fact, just this very morning I was handed an opportunity to practice what I preach … literally, because apparently God has a sense of humor. My husband was away on a business trip, and the alarm that I was CERTAIN was set did not go off. I was woken up by a very confused 5-year-old, exactly 25 minutes before we had to leave. You read that right, we had 25 minutes to complete the usual morning routine that normally takes one hour and fifteen. I stumbled through the house, dragging kids out of beds and slapping together ham sandwiches for breakfast (because it made sense at the time) before I realized what I most needed. “Dear Lord, help me to have extended time.” Guess what? We made it with two minutes to spare.
When your to do list is longer than your longest day … pray for extended time. Maybe all of the boxes on your to-do list won’t get checked off, but the most important ones will. You’ll probably discover the others weren’t necessary in the first place … besides, there’s always tomorrow.
When you feel pulled in dozen different directions, you have a deadline to meet and your running short staffed with an even shorter fuse … pray for extended time. Then get to work and get it done, chances are, you’ll not only beat your deadline, you’ll turn in work that you’re proud of.
On the days you have 16 things to do, and 23 minutes before the bell rings … pray for extended time. Pick one, say a quick prayer and watch the magic happen.
I meant when I said there was a catch … like any prayer, faith is an absolute requirement … and then gratitude when it works, because it will.
Faith in His ability to carry you through and gratitude that He desires to see you succeed.
Faith that He knows what’s actually important and gratitude that there’s someone looking out for you who knows how it should unfold.
There it is, a game changer wrapped up in one short prayer, eight little words. I can guarantee I’ll need it today, so I’ll ask for a little of it for both of us.