There are those precious commodities of life that are valuable in nature and limited in amount. TIME is one of these such commodities. We only have a set amount of time each day. Yet, the demands for our time seem to grow exponentially by the hour.
Time is constantly moving and once it passes it is gone. As a parent if four young children I become more keenly attuned to this with every passing year. We just celebrated our youngest child's second birthday this week. Inevitably I remarked, "It seems like just yesterday that we brought him home."
As a pastor, I find myself lamenting the time that slips away each day and week. My list of things to do never decreases. I find myself wondering how I am going to get everything done that I need/have to do. I have often, and I must confess rightly, been accused of burning the candle at both ends and trying to find a way to light it in the middle.
How can we live life in a manner that honors God with our time?
1. We must identify what we believe are God's priorities for our lives. We cannot do everything. We may think we can, but the reality is that we are finite and would do better to let God establish His priorities for our lives. When we do this we will find the wisdom of when to say "yes" to someone or something as well as the freedom to say "no." For more on establishing God's priorities for your life click here.
2. Schedule the use of your time for each day/week. I am a list person. Lists help me identify the tasks that need to be done and stay on track to complete them. With the advent of all the modern technology you can make lists with notes and reminders in a variety of ways. The point is to find the system that works for you.
3. Minimize the distractions that steal your time. For example, while social media is not inherently evil, if it distracts you from God's priorities and causes you to waste time then it is at best a hindrance. I use email, Twitter and occasionally glance at Facebook, so I can appreciate the value they serve. But you may need the extra help of scheduling social media time so you stay on track. Let these things be a tool to help you not an obstacle to hurt you. Click here for an article on "Taming the Social Media Lion."
4. Maximize the use of your time in your day. When you schedule your time you can make wise choices. There are lots of ways to maximize the use of our time. One example is returning phone calls. There are always messages to return. I find it helpful to use my time driving from one location to another to return some of my phone messages. I am able to take advantage of otherwise "idle" time to kill two birds with one stone. Another disciplined example to maximize your time each day is to get up early and get the day started. You can get much done earlier in the morning with reading and studying that will leave more than enough time the rest of the day for meetings, etc.