Who gets to your calendar first?

Who gets to your calendar first? 

“Get to your calendar before anyone else. I am busy because I am lazy. I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself. I let other people who do not understand the work of the pastor write the agenda for my day’s work because I am too slipshod to write it myself.”

Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor, p18

“Busyness is an illness of spirit, a rush from one thing to another because there is no ballast of vocational integrity and no confidence in the primacy of grace”

— Eugene Peterson, Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work, p61

“Vocational Integrity: What I believe in and aspire to is what I purpose to live out through word and action”

— Wayne MacQueen, journal entry

Why are your top priorities your top priorities in  life? Why did you let what you are doing at this moment into your calendar?

What we choose to say yes to reveals our top priorities at the moment. Are those priorities still in line with what we say is the main and plain of our lives (our core life values)?

Have you ever said yes to someone’s request only to find yourself saying something as in, “dagnabbit, why did I go and say yes to that?”

PAUSE…… before you say yes….before you say no.pause

That next time someone asks you to say yes to something…. Pause.

Delay your answer for as long as is reasonable and pray about it.  John Wimber is a leader I have always respected and he use to say, “I would prefer to pray about this, but if you need an immediate answer then it is no”.

Maybe that won’t work in your situation, but you might consider giving it a try. It has worked for me when I felt someone has pressured me to say yes.)

Eight Questions to guide what goes in your calendar.

Eight Questions to reflect on while taking something into advisement, also known as ‘let me pray about that and I will get back to you’.

  1.  How will saying yes to this request affect my core life values? If you don’t know what your life core values are, you need to stop the horses and work that one through. If you don’t know where to start, here is a neat trick to get the juices flowing, “if I knew what my 5 core life values were, what would they be? Go.”
  2. If I have no choice but to say yes to this matter, how can I proceed, so to cut the negative impact on my core values?
  3.  Once again, why do I need to say yes?
  4. Is there someone who supports my core values (for instance – my coach)? Ask them to help you align your decision with your vocational integrity.
  5. How will saying yes to something actually appear on my calendar?
  6. What had to shift in order for that to happen?
  7. Is that, what shifted, something that is central to my vocational integrity?
  8. Is this something I desire to do? Why? How will it affect my soul?

My friend Dave Jacobs has told me more than once, ‘Show me a man’s calendar and I’ll tell you about his soul.’

How is your soul?

What your next steps?

What questions would you like to add to these 8? (Please post in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.)





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