By Jim Lange
Time. Do you have enough of it? If you are like the rest of the world, you will answer that question by saying “No!” However, you would be wrong. We all have enough time. In fact, each of us has the same amount of time each day: 24 hours. Nobody has more, and no one has less.
The problem with most of us is that we have become addicted to filling our time with things that do not matter. We fill it with tasks at work. We fill our time on social media like Facebook and Twitter. We fill it by transporting our children to numerous events and after-school activities. We fill it watching TV. We find ourselves constantly in motion, squandering precious minutes and hours.
We have allowed very little margin in our lives, so we frantically rush around trying to squeeze everything into our schedule. Sadly for many of us, at the end of the day we have missed out on what really matters: relationships.
I have three questions for you to ponder: 1) How do you spend your time? 2) How is that working for you? 3) When you are on your deathbed, will you be happy with the way you have spent your time?
I heard this subject discussed recently and it got me thinking about my life and how busy I seem to be. I do not think God desires me to be this busy. I do believe He wants me resting along the way and taking time to enjoy the journey, but sometimes it seems so hard.
However, I have determined to jump off this “hamster wheel” by frequently asking myself what is truly important. I have had a tendency to do things simply because I have always done them that way. I have been very task-oriented which, on one hand, has been helpful in some areas of my life. However, it has hurt some of my relationships, as I have erred in emphasizing tasks at the expense of people I genuinely care about.
As a result, I have begun a process of evaluating all that I do and asking myself how important each opportunity really is. Would you be willing to do the same?
For many of us, such a process of self-evaluation can be unsettling, perhaps even frightening. But the bottom line is this reality: If we continue doing things as we always have, we will continue to get the same results we have always gotten. And this includes the way we use our time.
Our days are all numbered. Just as we cannot add a single minute to a 24-hour day, we cannot add even one day to the span of our lives. Time is the most precious commodity we have. So would you join me in trying to make the most of the days you have left – by looking to create meaningful moments rather than maximizing your minutes? If we are focused on maximizing each minute, this will lead to us trying to create microwave relationships. Trust me, this does not work well, especially long-term. We can be efficient with things we do, but we must learn to become very inefficient in our relationships. This is where moments are created, and they cannot always fit a convenient schedule.
In the Old Testament book of Psalms we find this wise advice: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
© 2012 by Jim Lange. Jim is a chapter president with Truth@Work (www.christianroundtablegroups.com), a ministry to people in the workplace. He writes a regular online blog, www.5feet20.com, and is the author of a book, Bleedership: Biblical First-Aid for Leaders. He and his family live near Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.