Making the Most of Today

Cindy Holmes
Ephesians 5:15b-16a (AMPC): Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity],

Are you making the most of today?

When you hear that question, do you feel like a failure or that you are behind in your life? Well, I used to. I wasted quite a few days feeling sorry for myself because my definition of “making the most of today” was WAY OFF!

I was so caught up in getting things done. Clean the house-check. Organize closets-check. Fancy or creative meals-check. And on and on. My days were just a long list of tasks to be completed. And, because I usually had boxes left unchecked each day, I felt like I was failing.

For years, I felt “less than” in almost area of my life. If I couldn’t be successful in keeping a spotless house, how can I expect to be someone worth wanting to know? If I couldn’t cook designer meals, am I really a good wife? If I can’t keep my laundry caught up, are my kids going to be embarrassed of me? If each kid is not in 4 different events each week, will I fail as a mother? Every day, these thoughts would roar like a hurricane in my mind and heart. It felt like I was already 10 steps behind before my feet even hit the floor.

One day while studying my Bible, God guided me to Ephesians 5:15-16 (Msg) which says:
Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork…
Expose these things for the sham they are…
Watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get.

Oh, my!!! Those words hit me like a freight train to my heart. I had been wasting my time trying to do so much that I was missing out on what really mattered!! My life was overshadowed by quantity over quality. I had allowed my identity to be tied to the amount of checks that I ticked off my daily To-Do list or the amount of activities our family was involved in.

I was especially struck by the words, “mere busywork.” That’s what I had been doing-being busy. I was constantly doing something but was it the right something? I was working so hard but never really seeing progress. Why? It was 1000% because the Lord wasn’t in the work. It was all Cindy. Cindy made the lists, checked them twice, and ran around all day trying to finish them. I realized that I needed to move beyond that old definition of my daily tasks.

After getting this revelation, I started studying the idea of including God into these everyday moments. I found 2 Corinthians 2:15 (TLB). Look at it with me, please:

As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved all around us.

It made me my heart hurt to read that verse. Were my days giving off the fragrance of God (the Gospel)? Was I showing Him throughout my day? No, I wasn’t. I was simply doing one job after another or going from one event to the next. Things had to change.

So, I asked the Lord to teach me how to start showing Him in the moments of my everyday tasks. Being the faithful God that He is, He gave me so many ideas. As each new idea came to me, I wrote them down. Then, I began inputting them into all of the tasks that needed done within my day.

I call these things my Glimmers of God list. They are ways that I shine His Light into the ordinary things within my life.

Here are some of the things He taught me to plant throughout my day:

Washing dishes? That’s a perfect time to worship, listen to podcasts, sermons, or even pray over the needs in my friends’ lives.

Sitting at my desk or doing my job? These are now chances to pray for those I cross paths with on a regular basis-my coworkers, friends/acquaintances, church family.  

Folding clothes? That’s now a time of prayer over my family.  I’m folding my son’s pants and I pray that his feet will boldly take the love of God everywhere he goes. I’m hanging up my daughter’s shirt and I’m praying that her heart is filled with the fullness of God so that she can know Him.

Sitting in car line? I’ll send a quick text to let someone know I am thinking about them.

Need to run errands? That’s a perfect chance to ask a friend to meet for a quick coffee before heading out. I get the fellowship I so greatly need while also getting to treat my friend to a coffee.

Have a spare minute? That’s kids snuggle time where I can hear about their day.

Want to peruse social media? Now, I’ll make sure to leave encouraging comments, drop a private message to someone I haven’t talked to in awhile and let them know how they positively affected me, or make a post sharing a real and connecting part of my life while giving glory to God.  

Any place and circumstance that needs our time and attention has room for these Glimmers of God. They just make the days brighter and the work have deeper meaning.

On days that I do all of the “Glimmers of God” on my list, they take about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours to complete. But, it is broken up into small bits. They are just simple additions to things I am already doing. The difference is that the tasks now have an eternal element. I have found that my attitude about doing everyday things has gotten so much brighter and hopeful since I have been doing these things. I feel like I am making a place for hope even in what used to feel mundane.

This changed my life. Literally. That’s why I wanted to offer the idea of Glimmers of God to you. I am asking each of us to ponder if we are actively leaving a fragrance of Him throughout our day. How can we insert things into the moments of our day so that it is not simply a set of tasks that must be done but, instead, includes powerful investment into the hearts of others?