Reading in Genesis this morning I was struck by three simple phrases:
- “It was so.”
- “It was good.”
- It was done.
Genesis chapter one records the creation story. This is how it went…
(Genesis 1:9-12) God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
This “it was so… it was good” pattern is a recurring theme throughout the entire first chapter of Genesis… read it and see!
The first chapter concludes and the second chapter of Genesis commences with these words:
(Genesis 1:31-2:3) God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning– the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
I’m currently reading the Richard Swenson’s book, Margin, in which he talks about the need to restore space (i.e. margin) into our crowded lives. As I read through Genesis chapter one it occurred to me that God had/has margin!
Every day in the creation cycle He completed a project or series of projects and felt good about it.
When was the last time you had a six day run in which you completed a project every day and felt good about what you had done?
Most of us try to do twelve things in a three-thing day! If we do end up completing our list of twelve, something or someone has typically been compromised at the worst, and at best it’s not likely that we can say “it is good” about all twelve tasks.
God created the universe and it’s content in six days… a rather major project. The genius of His strategy was that He broke the project down into chunks and only did a “little bit” each day. There was a clean “cut-off” point for each project. When He was done with his project, he evaluated it and drew pleasure from it. When the entire project was completed, He took a day off.
I’m challenged by this model. A few thoughts that may prove to be helpful:
- I will complete more projects and be happier when I have fewer projects on my “to-do” list.
- I will be able to evaluate and celebrate completed projects when each project has a clean “cut-off” point. In other words, a simple way of knowing, “It is finished.” I must determine this “cut-off” point before beginning the project and then honor it when I’ve reached it.
- I need to step back from the completed task and have an “It is good” moment before I rush into the next project.
- When the task is completed… rest.
Again, God’s pattern was:
- “It was so” (He did it)
- “It was good” (He evaluated and celebrated it)
- It was done (He rested)
One thought on “Done.”
Better save this message for Monday planning meetings 🙂
Here are a couple of my thoughts back, Paul:
1. While Genesis is certainly not a time management passage, I believe that you can certainly borrow the illustration of God’s working pattern. It seems to crop up every time issues of the sabbath are brought up.
2. We need to put the margins in (sabbath is a perfect, God-given example), but He did not need rest (because He was tired). He did rest to establish pattern for us and … to enjoy the plan unfolded ? Perhaps.
3. He accomplished 6 mega-sized project days. I’d be happy with 6 much smaller projects! But I will not be happy with 6 Mike sized projects — I want God-sized ones!
Just random thoughts Paul,
Thanks for reading for application!