Friday, July 4, 2014

Too many things to do, too little time ............. Parables 139

“I’d like to, but I’m just too busy.”

“Where do you find the time to do so much?”

Life is like a smorgasbord: so many activities to pick from, many that look too good to pass up. My plate fills up so quickly, and time, like my tummy, has a way of getting stuffed before the plate is empty.  It takes careful planning to finish my choices before the end of each day. Even with the best of scheduling, interruptions, health problems, and a host of other things can leave me with a pile of “leftovers.”

Sometimes I chide myself with the fact I have just as many hours as the President of the United States, and look at all he accomplishes. But my husband brings me back to earth with,”You have the same hours, dear, but not the same staff!”

Because we are made in the image of God, and because we function best when living like it, some of the best secrets of time management are found by looking at His use of time. Aside from the fact that He created and controls it, He also stepped into it, in the person of Jesus Christ. We have record of only three years of His life, yet in that three years, He made an impact on the world that no man has made before or since. I’m sure His use of time had something to do with it.

Before anyone protests, “but He is God . . .” He also was fully human, He became tired, thirsty and hungry, just as we do. Not only that, His days only had twenty-four hours - just the same as ours.

A GOOD START: Perhaps the greatest secret of His time-management was that Jesus”rose up before it was yet morning, to pray.” The older I get the less I enjoy the ringing of my alarm clock. However, Jesus knew that the strength received from His heavenly Father would outlast any benefits of extra time snoozing. Isaiah 40 says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” not”they that sleep as much as possible.”

NO PROCRASTINATION: The Gospel of Mark uses the word “immediately” over and over as it describes Christ in action. He was not a procrastinator. He never made excuses, stalled, or hesitated in uncertainty. He did not put off until tomorrow what could and should be done right now. Time management specialists confirm this principle. Number your priorities and then do them, one after the other.

TRUST THE FATHER WITH INTERRUPTIONS: Jesus also saw interruptions as heaven-sent and was not flustered by them. Instead, He responded as if they were on His list from the beginning. This is where I often falter. My tendency is to let the interruption ruin my attitude and even my day’s work. Realizing God sovereignly controls my life has helped me be more polite to door-to-door sales men and telephone survey-takers.

PURPOSEFUL R AND R: Jesus was not lazy but He did take time to rest.”Jesus, being wearied from His journey, sat by the well” (John 4). Laziness is resting because I don’t want to work. Recreation is resting because if I don’t rest I won’t have the energy to work. Taking time to be refueled is not necessarily selfish indulgence. Jesus even used His resting time to reach out to others.

JOB SELECTION: Jesus did not accept any task outside of His Father’s will. His early morning time alone was not wasted time. When He began His day, He knew where to go, what to do, and what was important for eternity. He kept His focus on the priorities laid down for Him.

What a waste to spend a day (or a whole life) on things that have no eternal value. But for those who belong to Christ, He makes every minute count. After all, unlike the vast assortment of choices there are to fill it, a minute of time leaves no leftovers. Used wisely or wasted, it is gone forever.

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