We say it's precious. We complain that we don't have enough of it. We beg for more of it.
We fill our days from beginning to end with all the events that we either believe to be, or must feel are important. Whether that event is our job which pays the bills, our child's sporting events, or our favorite tv show, it somehow manages to use up a few of the minutes we have been given by Almighty God.
Has anyone else looked over your calendar of scheduled events for the week and said, "How?"
How will we fit it all in?
How will we keep our sanity?
How long can I keep up with this schedule?
If Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that there is a time for every matter under heaven, then when is that "me time" I keep wondering about?
I would venture to guess that most of us spend plenty of time on "me," and by me, I mean...me, you, moi. Now, if you are a person that has 10 kids, takes care of a sick relative, plants a garden, volunteers 2 hours a week at church, makes cookies for your neighbors, and gives your spouse a 30 minute foot rub at the end of every day, this post is NOT for you.
This post is for me, for the ones who have plenty of time, and yet still complain that they don't.
If we have time to surf the internet, write a blog post, keep up with facebook, attend 2+ sporting events a week, watch 2 hours of tv, and still go camping on the weekend, I think we might have more time than we pretend we don't have.
I'd say it's a matter of misplaced priorities, but that's just my humble opinion.
I amaze myself when I say I have no time for... (enter important work for the Kingdom of God), and yet somehow in the same hour, I find myself discussing my latest creative endeavor with a friend. I found a whole afternoon for that one, but serving at a soup kitchen..."sigh," I just don't have time.
Now, some of this is in jest. I realize that there is nothing wrong with creative projects, or tv watching, or kids' soccer, or, or, or...
There is nothing wrong with so many things that we allow to fill our days. But, maybe we need to look at our calendar with fresh eyes. What if we filled in the best things in the boxes that represent days, and then penciled in the good things that we all love so much.
What are the best things, you might ask?
The best things are those things which last forever. They are also the things that God focuses most on in His Word. A few things come to mind...
Loving God, loving your neighbor.
Luke 10:27 gives us insight into what is most important to God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
"Honey, should we go to church this weekend, or stay at home, grill steaks, watch too much tv, and wallow in our selfishness?"
Oh, I can hear it now... "Church doesn't save you. It's not religion, it's relationship. They just want my money anyway!"
Well, if you love God with all your heart, soul and strength, you might want to learn more about Him, His Word, His people, His church...
Oh, you don't? Enter Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of Heaven." Just because you say you love Jesus doesn't mean you really do. What do your priorities say about your love for Jesus? What are our actions telling the world what we really think?
If our schedule is so busy that we don't have time to help people in need, our schedule needs tweaked.
Our kids don't have to play a sport every single month of the year.
The world will not end if we do not watch our favorite tv show or news program.
Pinterest will not cease to exist because we did not pin any images in the last week.
Facebook...oh Facebook. There is so much to say.
We don't need to (enter favorite way to pass the time), if it interferes with helping those whom God loves.
James 1:27: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
This is another verse that talks about God's priorities. To be honest with you, this whole subject has been frustrating me lately. I don't know how to do the most important thing. I don't know what to do. I don't know when to do it. If loving God, loving my neighbor, caring for orphans, and others in need are what is supposed to be occupying my time, what is the best way to accomplish that?
I think there are a few options. First of all, give your best to God. Second, give your best to your spouse. Third, give your best to your children. Fourth, give your best to the work of God. These are the things that we should be placing first in our lives. All the rest is just extra. All the rest should be secondary.
And, putting your kids first does not mean giving in to every single whim they have. It doesn't mean purchasing things you cannot afford to make them happy for 5 minutes (or even 5 days). It doesn't mean taking them on camping trips when you could be serving together and leading people closer to Jesus (although there is nothing wrong with the occasional camping trip!) You put them first when you meet their needs with Jesus' help, teach them about Jesus, show them Jesus through your life, and allow them to witness you being Jesus to others around you.
I used to wonder how I could possibly help widows and orphans. Actually, I wondered how I could help anyone in need. I just wasn't sure how to go about it.
Most of all, I've been staying in my favorite corner of my comfort zone, unwilling to feel that twinge of fear that creeps in when I do something new.
I have a couple of thoughts on this.
We should be doing what we can, when we have the opportunity. When we hear of a way that we can help, we should be prayerfully asking God if we can fill that need.
However, did you realize that God put the church "together" in part to meet needs like this?
Did you know that when you volunteer 2 hours a month cleaning toilets at your church, it frees up money that would normally go to a janitor, so that said money can go to lift up those who have fallen?
Did you know that when you give $8 a week (price of two over-priced lattes) to a pregnancy center, you are enabling people that God has equipped to provide necessary services to babies that need to remain alive.
Did you know that when you give up $15 of your grocery budget each week to pay for a few items that your local rescue mission needs, you are caring for your "neighbor."
It's really not as hard as we say it is. If each one of us would sacrifice (is that even the correct word in this scenario?) in these small ways, lives could be impacted! I mean, it's almost laughable to call 2 hours a month volunteering, and less than $25 a week donated, a sacrifice.
And these are only a few ways that we could have an impact.
I believe that if each one of us will prayerfully proceed in the areas that God has given us passion for, great things can happen.
I am praying that God gives me clear vision...His vision, for what He wants me to accomplish. It's all for Him anyway. My entire life is a result of His grace, love, and blessing. Is it better for me to spend a little extra time on the "interwebs," or spend that time praying with a friend in need, organizing a "food blessing" for a widow in need, making a meal for someone who is sick, or donating time and money to church/organizations who are busy with God's work.
This post is the result of God's convicting work in my own life.
I'm getting out of my comfort zone.
I have enough time to do what really matters, and I'm going to do it.
Image via Unsplash