This is mostly because I’m always so terrified of being late. So I’m usually really, really early.
At the end of my life I’m sure I will have wasted the culmination of several years just sitting in waiting rooms or driving around the block to kill time.
Even with that realization I don’t consider the time wasted. My reasoning is that I prefer a few minutes of boredom over anxiously trying to weave my way through traffic, imagining all the horrible things that might happen if I’m late. Even it means I’m still rushing out the door because my version of “late” is twenty minutes ahead of schedule and I didn’t drag myself out of bed in time. So I still often run late, at least according to my own timeline.
When I really stop and think about it, it occurs to me that I’m stressing out, rushing around, in order to prevent myself from stressing out. But then I end up stressing out anyway.
I wish I could say my penchant for punctuality makes me highly organized.
I still don’t set my clothes out the night before, nor do I make lunches ahead of time. Every morning I play chicken with my alarm clock. I can hit the snooze twice if I don’t wear makeup. Three times if I forgo breakfast.
Basically, this amounts to my reacting to life. It starts the whole day off wrong. And that extra ten minutes I have at work to gather my wits and make my coffee does not make up for it.
And unfortunately, this transpires into a lot of other areas of my life. Including my spiritual life.
God commands us to “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13, emphasis added).
God does not want us to live reactionary lives. When we flitter through our days, cramming in all the busyness, trying to trudge through it all, we are living life on the surface. He wants us to stand our ground, armed with the tools of truth, righteousness and peace. Ready to go into battle before the declaration of war is made, so that we can root ourselves in him and live the abundant lives he has planned for us. No matter what we face.
But this does not mean we are to don our armor and stand on the empty battlefield looking toward the horizon and fearing what is to come. Putting on the full armor of God requires trusting in the Truth that God has revealed to you through his word, allowing His righteousness to protect and guide you, and to stand strong in the peace of knowing God has already fought and won the most important battle of all.
It’s amazing how perspective changes in the midst of all that.
It sure beats rushing out onto the battlefield practically naked, a cup of coffee in hand. Early or not, if you aren’t prepared you won’t do very well when that army starts marching.
As I continue to study meditation I am learning that taking ten minutes in the morning, even when I’m running “late,” to have a chat with God, meditate on his word and simply feel his presence, is a huge step toward living a proactive life.
It is my way of putting on the armor and preparing myself for what might come on the battlefield that day.
How do you put on your armor? What has helped you to live a more proactive, less reactionary life?