Ever encountered sequences? Occasionally, I’ve heard them personified as Murphy’s Law. I don’t remember ever hearing a term applied to that pesky situation when the one thing you want to do is barely out of reach behind numerous (often spontaneous) “urgent” predecessors, until my type-A grandfather coined the term (at least I give him credit) “sequences.” For an anti-procrastinator like myself—it can really eat your lunch.
Sequences are when you just want to finish that last report, or billing, but you can’t until someone gets you their numbers. When they finally do, your computer is cantankerous. When the computer is finally working, the t-key gets stuck. Then the printer is out of ink and by the time you’re finally done, you’ve missed your daughter’s soccer game and the boss (who wanted the report) has gone home. On your way home, you stop to buy gas and the first two pumps you try refuse your card, blinking, “see attendant.”
You know those days, right?
I’ve been in a series of them lately. I mean it, Murphy is camped out at my house. Then, as I scrambled to outsmart Murphy one Sunday morning on the way to church, God brought to mind a Bible story.
Exodus 16 tells the story of God raining manna on the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. He only gave one specific instruction about the collecting of manna (a flour-like substance with which they could bake cakes and bread): Gather only as much as you need each day.
The Holy Spirit dropped the thought in my heart, “Abby, do only as much as you need.”
I’m notorious for trying to do tomorrow’s work today. “If I could just get ahead … “. You’ve said that right? But what if tomorrow’s work (and worry) is enough for itself? (Matthew 6:34) What if I’m only driving myself crazy, complicating matters and perhaps doing it the hard way attempting to tackle all of tomorrow’s ankle-biters today?
Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
To me, this is a reminder that this day, defined by sunrise and sunset (see Genesis 1), is only 24 hours long for a reason. There are some things that should necessarily wait. They are not urgent. In fact, they are best done later.
Have you ever wrestled with sequences? Do you feel overwhelmed often at work and at home? What things might be better left until tomorrow?