A Journey to Becoming a Woman of Faith

Time Management

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Time is a funny thing. You all know what I mean. You are sitting in a meeting, a doctor’s waiting room, a line of traffic, a boring desk job and the clock moves at a snail’s pace, and you feel like you have been there “forever”! Then, on other occasions you are sitting at the beach, at a family dinner, or some long-awaited event and in the blink of an eye it is over! When you are young you can’t wait to grow up and time feels so slow; when you are older, you want time to slow down and the birthdays to stop coming so fast! When you have little kids, they seem to grow up so fast, but once they are grown and gone, the days slow down as you look forward to seeing them again. Fast, slow, slow, fast, time is a funny thing.

A few things are true about time. The first is that unlike money, no one is making more time. This means we all have exactly how much time the Lord has given us to live. 24 hours, (1,440 minutes) a day. Also, we can’t get time back. It’s not like returning an item to the store and getting our refund. Once spent, time is gone. Another important aspect to time is that we have zero control over how much we have or the speed in which time seems to move; however, we DO have control over how we spend it!

This leads to an important truth about time; intentionality is key. I have heard many times that “if you don’t tell your time where to go, it will tell you”. For me, and I am sure many of you, you often get to the end of the day or week and wonder, where did the time go? What did I do? Being intentional with time means that you plan how you will spend your days. Now for a spontaneous, free spirit like me, this somewhat goes against my nature. I have for years lived a little more by the philosophy of “what do I feel like doing today?” Of course, work days are clear, but what about summer, weekends….Well, it has taken me a while to figure this out, but I have discovered that when I am intentional with my time, I find I am more fruitful and more fulfilled.

All of this musing, leads to a much more important question. What does God say about time? On the one hand, He is an advocate for planning, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? ” Luke 14:28. The writer Proverbs says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Prov. 21:5) and in Ephesians Paul writes: 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16). I think it is safe to say that planning is important to God.

However, God’s teaching on time is more complicated than that because, of course, He is God and as the maker of time, He sees time differently. Peter writes, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” God’s view on time can not be defined in human terms.

In Matthew 6 Jesus’ teaches about trusting God for all our needs, wrapping up his message with an important truth: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33) Jesus is making an important point here: prioritize me first, and don’t worry about anything else. While this message seems to be about material needs, I think it also applies to our time.

Seeking God first is really the secret to time management for the believer, and Jesus is our model for this. In Mark chapter 1, we read after a night of healing and miracles in Capernaum, Jesus’ seeks the Father:

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”  And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” (Mark 1:35-38)

There is so much to learn here in this short passage, but as I think about my time, the message for me is to not waste another day making my own plans without starting first with a conversation with the Maker of time. If this is the way Jesus lived His life, then I have no other option. I don’t want to get to the end of the day wondering where the time went and whether I accomplished anything of eternal value. I only have so much time to make an impact on this world for Christ, so I don’t have time to squander moments on unnecessary things. In my humanness, there is no way I will always make the best choice with my time, so if I am serious about living like Jesus, I need to follow His lead and consult the One who has a purpose for my days FIRST before anything else! Now, I am not suggesting that we throw out all of our planners and just go with the flow, but just like Jesus, may we be able to let God manage our time and be ready to “go on to the next towns..” knowing this “is why” we are here!

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