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Marjorie Thompson suggests a structure is necessary because not all growth is equal. Without structure, we are likely to grow in undesired directions. I enjoy the way she points out that “The fruit of the Spirit in us gets tangled and is susceptible to corruption, and the beauty of our lives is diminished.” Hers is a helpful illustration that suggests that structure allows for maximum fruit. In light of this, perhaps one of the most spiritual things we can do is to arrange our schedules to include space for growth. I will utilize the calendar to order and prioritize activities of spiritual importance.

My calendar will reflect the plan for this particular soul, in this particular skin, and in this particular place. That is how God works in us. I would be different if I lived anywhere else. I would not be the same if I were raised anyplace but where I was raised. If I would have belonged to a different bio family, hung around with different people, and worked in different vocations, I would not be who I am today. God meets us on the path we are on.

I am reminded that Jacob set out and found himself in the middle of nowhere. One night, Jacob laid his head on a rock and met God. He called this place Bethel. In that place, Jacob realized his life was part of a bigger story. We can begin to understand what the psalmist meant when he sang “where can I go from your presence?” Perhaps we should not be surprised that Moses came across a burning bush. Perhaps we should have expected disciples to meet the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus and for Saul to meet Jesus on the Damascus road. There is no such place as nowhere, it’s all Bethel. Earth is crammed with heaven and every bush is a fire with God.

Making my schedule with spiritual formation in mind will help me to become more aware of the ways God is at work in the places I find myself. Putting this into print helps me realize I am unable to do too many things at once. I want to realistically enter a new season with specific goals. This does not grant permission to neglect other areas, but helps me become more intentional in some. While some things are deliberately added to the schedule for the purpose of spiritual formation, I hope I begin to see everything on my schedule as a way to know God.

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