The Color of September::to be available...


{Introduction - Although you are welcome to use my living in yellow list, please know that I wrote it for me. I share a few truths and thoughts not that I think you need them, but that I need them, and writing about them helps me do just that. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3}
Another important element of giving is with our time. Most of us are so busy that the thought of adding one more thing to our weekly schedule is stressful. Instead of adding in another thing to our lives, perhaps God wants us to give Him all of our time and let Him direct it as He sees fit. ~ Francis Chan, Crazy Love
In an interview four years ago, I was asked how I spend my free time. Good question, I thought. I know that the person interviewing me wanted to know what hobbies or recreational activities I enjoy finding time for, but the words free time resonated and caused me to think deeper.

I've arrived at this stage in life where there are no little ones constantly under my feet or plates to keep spinning, and it's been decades since I worked outside the home. I haven't had this much free time since I was in kindergarten.

Even my chore list is simple these days, rarely requiring more than an hour of unscheduled time on any given day - unless I've chosen to tackle a particularly large and time-consuming task. The hours and minutes generally flow at an unhurried pace, and there's white space all over my calendar.

It's a gift, I know - but I wondered what free time really means for a Christian. Is any of my time really free - my own to use as I choose - when for to me to live is Christ...?  {Philippians 1:21 ESV} 


As I wrestle with that question in the light of scripture, the answer is obviously no - and in this living in yellow season, I flesh that out by simply being available - to wake up in the morning and ask God to order my steps and to remind me when interruptions occur that they are usually opportunities to love and live like Jesus that He has provided. 

To be available and let God use my time as He desires will look differently for all of us, but it doesn't mean I need to fill in those white spaces on the calendar and find busy work to fill the time {in fact, if I did that, I'd no longer be available}, but I'm reminding myself to approach each day expectantly, with the understanding that my time and abilities belong to the Lord, and if there is a need that I can meet, I'm available to be used to meet it.

What if we've confused our worth, our importance or significance with busyness, when who God is looking to use are those who will keep their calendars clear for Him? 

If you are still raising children, free time is not even in your vocabulary, but if you are in a season in which free time looks much like mine, what does being available look like in your life?