God is sovereign and absolutely in control. He understands our limitations, and he will not require of us more than we can fit into a 24-hour period.
But this doesn’t mean that God will miraculously eliminate all of our cares and concerns over our calendars. It doesn’t mean that we can haphazardly fill our schedules with activities (even if they’re really, really good things!) and expect God to sort it all out for us.
We cause ourselves great stress when we attempt to be too self-reliant and ignore God’s sovereignty and care for us. But the pendulum can swing too far to the other extreme and we end up downplaying our responsibility. It’s possible for us to even think that passivity is a virtue and a sign of faith.
But as stewards of our time, we still have a great deal of control to exert over our daily schedules – and it’s our responsibility to do so wisely.
Know Well the Condition of Your Flocks
Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
King Solomon was rich beyond measure, yet his wisdom was to attend to the basic economic building blocks of the culture. This wisdom is also applicable today to our most precious and basic resource: time.
Solomon isn’t saying simply to work hard, keep your head down, and blindly hope that God will work things out. He’s advocating being informed and making wise decisions with full knowledge of the circumstances.
The diligent shepherd will know well the conditions of his flock: he will look for sickness, malnourishment, and pregnancy. He will notice the situations that cause his flock to flourish.
Using this knowledge, the shepherd can then give attention (v.23) to his flocks and most effectively care for them.
The important thing is this: careful attention to your flocks, your money, or your time is not the opposite of faith.
Selfishly hoarding or finding security in our resources instead of security in God – this is what we should avoid. But it’s the heart attitude of self-reliance that is the problem, not the behavior of prudent planning or scheduling.
In fact, the wise thing to do is to have a clear understanding of our time. It’s wise to have an inventory of all the obligations we have, all the commitments we’ve made, all of the goals we’ve set, all of the plans that will take us there, and all the next action items that will kick-start those plans.
In His wisdom, God has left much of our lives under our control and responsibility. Faith is not about passivity. In fact, Proverbs 27:23 clearly tells us to work hard at those areas that we can influence.
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