Weird weeks can teach you a lesson. This week was weird. And I’ve learned something, too. I’ve been on Jury Duty. In Inglewood. Now, I haven’t had to go in yet (it is Thursday and I have one more shot at fulfilling my civic duty). So that’s the weird part. All week, I haven’t been able to commit to anything with my location and availability in limbo. That does force some flexibility on my part. But as I type, there is still Friday (the day of my biggest deadlines) still hanging over my head. Sermon notes are due. Text for the sermon slides. The Back Page. The Friday Update. Friday is not my slack-off day, not even close. But, what if I’m not around? Yikes. I need Plan B.

Therefore, I have had to live as if Friday would be spent in Inglewood. The bonus is that if I’m in Inglewood, I’m hoping to spend the day with Lillie Popoola. We both have jury duty this week…in Inglewood. But so far, I only saw her at home group, not at court. But I never know…there’s still Friday looming on the horizon.

Living as if Friday isn’t available has changed my week. All my “Friday work” had to be done by the end of the day on Thursday. That’s not so easy for those of us who tend to procrastinate…just a tad. And when I’m out of my routine it’s too easy to forget to do something. Hopefully, that won’t happen this week. But who knows? If there are no sermon slides this morning, you’ll know why.

Living as if Friday isn’t available had some advantages, too. I actually might (might!) get to work ahead on planning for 2019. That could be huge. Maybe this government-imposed “margin” is a blessing in disguise? Maybe I could learn something from this weird week? But, if I get “the call” to head to Inglewood on Friday, so much for working ahead. But my Thursday goal is to make sure the office staff can complete their work on time. If that sets me up to do some 2019 dreaming, that’s a huge bonus.

But as I think about it, maybe I ought to live more often like “Friday isn’t available” every week. Wow, that could be amazing. It’s not going to happen, but the thought of it is fascinating. I did think about the fact that “Friday” is never promised. Maybe that trumpet will sound, and Jesus will be on His way. Or maybe my time will be up here on earth. “Friday” is never a guarantee. And since life is preparation for eternity, perhaps I should live each week with that “Friday in Inglewood” in view.

James tells us to make plans yet submit them to the sovereign hand of God. We might have an itinerary mapped out, but God gets the final say. Always. This week I learned I actually could shuffle things around, if the motivation was high enough. There are advantages to creating margin in life. For me, sometimes it is just not worth it, if I’m honest. But maybe I should change. That’s a powerful lesson.