KEY SCRIPTURE Ecclesiastes 3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; APPLICATION I don't know about you, but many people find themselves short of time. There aren't enough hours in a day as one task blends into the next until the work is over, and then it's repeated tomorrow. Time is more important to us than anything other than air and Jesus Christ, but do we appreciate its majesty? Do we place a value on it? I recently read a short questionnaire regarding time which had an exciting twist. "If we on this show were able to give you $10 or $10 million, which one would you choose? Now, what if I said that that $10 was attached to 60 years to live, and the $10 million was attached to 60 days to live? If you change the way you look at things, the way things look will change. The vast majority of us will pick the $10. So that means time is actually what we want more of." (GNN) So, time is essential to us. Our key scripture tells us there is a time for everything, yet we don't find the time for all those things related to our walk with the Lord. Matthew 25:21 speaks about the man with five talents and how he dealt with time. "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things (including time), I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Full story Matthew 25:14-30) When we read this, we don't ask about the time it took this person to invest his five talents. The story is about the ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven giving deposits of skills to people and expecting invested returns. Naturally, we think of financial investing where we deposit our sum and others do the work. However, these talents (skills) required time investment, not the stock market. In the faithful servant's busy schedule, he had to make time to develop then use his skills. Like the widow budgeting to scrape together two mites for the temple investment (here), this guy had to budget time to produce a return for his Lord and ruler. And I'm guessing that wasn't his main job, either. It is evident when reading the entire chapter of Ecclesiastes 3 that some things can be planned for, while others come upon us unawares. Yet time is to be put aside for everything. I think we've all been torn between a full weekly schedule and a sudden funeral that emerges. Amazingly, we find we can postpone or cancel things, where before the funeral, they were critical. Do we find the time to be with the Lord—a time for prayer meetings, a time for reading and study, a 'quiet time', a time to counsel or be counselled, a time for Church attendance? How often is God's time pushed to the end of the day? or squeezed in between 'more important' work? Then we get to the end of the day to find we did little of the Lord's work in all the time we had. If God revealed our time to die, what 'stuff' would we drop off to better seek Him? What deadlines would suddenly become unimportant? In the afterlife, time has ceased and so have the opportunities to improve our measure. We only have now. Living time-poor is often due to unset or flawed goals, which sees our consistency and desires dissipate within days. Our daily half-hour put aside to plough the Lord's fields becomes spasmodic as we return that time to other interests. When mourners speak at our funeral, would we prefer them to say, "this good and faithful servant always put the required time aside for his Lord." or "Although Bill was a good person, he never seemed to be able to find the time to complete the Lord's work." If we're meant to make time for all those things, we must, out of necessity, manage our time well to get the essential things done. Try these principles to identify how time so easily slips away.
Audit your time. Find out where your time goes. The results may shock you.
Review & change your Keystone Habits. These are the foundation habits upon which your minor habits are built.
Use a daily to-do list. Stick to it within 85%. The other 15% is for interruptions.
Plan ahead before bed! Organise your tasks into time compartments. Set time limits and stick to them.
Remove addictions/distractions. Get off the phone, Facebook, texts and emails. Use ONLY if necessary and at set times. As these are huge time-thieves, set specific short blocks of time aside.
Put the big rocks into your container first. These are the most important/critical tasks you must do, and then the smaller ones will fit in around them.
Get up earlier. Mornings are excellent for fresh brain time. Give God your best time.
Take time out. A few short minutes three times per day to rest, praise and thank the Lord.
Ephesians 5:15-16, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." The Lord instructs us to manage and redeem time where we can, which shows how preciously He views it. Time is available. Managing it well is a blessing we dare not forsake. These points will help find your wasted time. PRAYER Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I manage some of my daily tasks well, but overall I spend too much time on incorrect pursuits. I want to find more time for You and Your work, so please help me put these principles into practice. Thanks.