Using Time Effectively
You've probably noticed that I've not blogged much in the last few weeks. Well, actually it's been since I started my school classes in late January. While attempting to juggle my new much-loved school classes, life coaching, speaking, and my regular life, I remembered that when I was a child, I memorized the verse: "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16.)
I wanted to heed the message, making the best possible use of my God-given time. I thought "redeeming time" meant I must make each moment productive. Over the years, it came to mean filling each minute of every day with activity and accomplishment. Rushing and busyness characterized my life.
Occasionally I paused enough to realize I was not in control of my time. Time was controlling me. I then resolved to step back and adjust, only to be sucked up into the excessive doing once again.
If I made perfect use of my time, I thought, I could accomplish much and God would be pleased with me. It was not only a lie, but an impossibility. Speeding through life is not a productive way to redeem the time. A better way to redeem life's opportunities is to slow down, relax, and enjoy myself, others and God.
Some days I practice this philosophy, some days I don't. I'll never do it perfectly. But God knows my desire to effectively redeem my time. AND He's helped me say "no" this past week to several requests that don't fit into my life right now (so I can continue to say "yes" to what I believe He's given me at this stage of my life.) I'm grateful.
Do you ever feel like "rushing and busyness characterize your life? What do you want to do about it?
4/7/2014 11:26:35 pm
I am constantly looking at how I spend my time and more so, now, as I witnessed the impact my parents had in their sphere of influence by choosing to invest themselves in people.
4/12/2014 04:02:57 am
I appreciate your comments, Lynne. It reminds me of a recent Facebook interaction I had in discussion about the difference between the urgent things in our lives and the important. Like the Tyranny of the Urgent that crowds out my long-term goals and desires for personal and spiritual growth and deepened relationships.
4/23/2014 03:04:25 pm
I get it for real. As a teacher/leader in my school district for years. I "burned the candle at both ends" most of those years. But always thinking I was doing the "right" things, taking on appropriate responsibilities, and continuing my own learning for professional and personal needs. However, after months of unsuccessfully trying to get my attention, thru little "nudges", God told me in an almost audible voice to slow down and stop the madness to focus on some minor health problems I kept trying to ignore, my family, and my own relationship with Him. I finally realized I was too busy for my own good, but told God his instruction would have to wait until end of my overcommited semester. That was the beginning of my own education. Never tell God to wait. That is disobedience. I ended up flat on my back with vertigo for several weeks, followed by a severe case of chronic fatigue which later grew into fibromyalgia. I have now had about 3 years to relearn how to discover what God wants as opposed to merely trying to do the "right things". It has also become a journey of learning and practicing genuine stewarship, over my health, my time, and our finances (which have taken a beating recently). God is teaching me contentment in the knowledge that money and happiness are really not related, He's teaching me how taking care of my body, and being accountable for what I put into it and on it, can bring me wisdom and joy. And he's teaching me that my career ending illness is opening other doors of opportunity, both in work and in service, that I never would have even considered had I continued busily operating in my own little world. These have been hard lessons to learn, but none could be more valuable.
4/25/2014 05:55:47 am
Wow, Lois. Such wisdom and serenity within your words. Thank you for sharing. I think it might be fun for us to get to sit down and chat and compare notes some day. Where do you live in the Phoenix area?
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Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.