Posts Tagged ‘Time management’

An Appointment with God

September 22, 2016

A lot of people say they don’t have time to pray or connect with God.  But they make appointments to meet with people.  Then they will ask–how can I connect with God?

To connect with God it helps to let Him talk with you.  One of my favorite ways to study the bible is to do a Red Word study.  In a lot of bibles, the words of Jesus are printed in red.  If I read a passage of Jesus’ words, then I can pray, asking Him what He is saying to me today–how do His words from 2000 years ago connect to my life?  What is he telling me?  What is He asking me to do?  Then I write down these thoughts where I can act upon them.  Sometimes it involves notes to myself in my planner.

The key to getting close to God is giving Him my time.  Just as a marriage can’t thrive when the couple are apart and not connecting, neither can any relationship thrive under those conditions, including my relationship with God.  I need an appointment with God in my planner.  Many people agree its good to give God a 30 minute appointment each day, and some like to give Him an hour.  The most important thing is to be consistent.  Just as I wouldn’t be a “no show” for a client or a friend, I need to never be a “no show” for God.  Some days things happen, but rather than skip my appointment, I need to reschedule it.  I need to get that appointment in that day even if it means staying up late to have that time before bed.

Time with God before bed is good.  Educators advise studying before sleep because what is learned is retained better when followed by sleep.  During sleep our brains cement in what we learned.  So, whatever God is saying to me and whatever I have determined to do in answer to Him will become cemented into my mind by sleep.

The important thing is to give time with God a priority, just as I give sleeping and eating priority.  I need certain things for my body’s health, and I need that time with God for my mental and spiritual health.

Finding Our Balance

January 28, 2016

“Come to me and I will give you rest-all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke.  Wear my yoke–for it fits perfectly–and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”  Matt 11:28-30

So many people in our culture feel stressed out, burned out and under constant time pressure.  Many of us consistently rob ourselves of sleep in order to get more done.  We set goals, establish priorities, yet constantly have our priorities interrupted by things beyond our control, and we live with continuous frustration and guilt over the things we didn’t get done.  What does Jesus mean by this quote?  What does it mean that His yoke fits perfectly, and that He gives us only light burdens?

Lets face it, we live in a culture of comparison and competition, and the one who does the most is judged the best.  We also evaluate achievement as success, and one of the marks of success is income level, but also recognition, and applause.  Awards, promotions and publicity also indicate we are good and valuable.  Even our children’s achievements are, in our minds, a reflection of our own goodness and success.  We are very much molded by this culture whose definition of human value is what we do, how much we do, and how much money and publicity we get for what we do.  We have a carefully constructed image to uphold, which includes our perfect family, and our perfect home.  We tie up our worth as a person in this image.

What if Jesus light burden turns all that upside down?  What if Jesus instructions to us about His priorities include living one day at a time, doing the good that is set before us by our location and circumstances, and talking to Him hourly about what He wants to show us and assign us?  He plainly didn’t care about money as long as we had the necessities.  He plainly didn’t care about the long list of “shoulds” His own culture placed upon people.  He didn’t care about appearances, but valued what was in the heart.  People came before schedules, and He often stopped what He was doing–even praying, to care for a need that arose.  He was supremely spontaneous.  He rested when needed, and made sure His disciples rested too.  He put a high priority on prayer.  But when reading the gospels in great long gulps, you begin to notice things about how Jesus was living.  He was never in a hurry.  He didn’t live by the clock or the calendar.  He tended to needs, including His own, but His definition of need varied from that of the surrounding culture.  Even in a simpler culture like the Jewish Culture of 30 AD, people were concerned with how they looked, how much money they had, their future security, their spiritual standing and so on.

What if we looked at our calendar and organizer and asked:  “Jesus, how much of this do You value?”  “How much of this am I putting on myself?”  “How much do I really need to do here?”  “What is most important from Your perspective?”  “What if I prioritize according to Your directions and not misplaced guilt?”  “If I put you first, will you take care of my needs?”  “You already said you would.”  We hear about people who almost died from a health issue totally re-make their lives.  They must change things according to different values if they are to live longer and not die of stress related illness.  Why wait till it comes to that?

What am I Doing?

October 29, 2015

“The Lord gazes down upon mankind from heaven where he lives.  He has made their hearts and closely watches everything they do.”  Psalm 33:13-15

If I imagine God watching me all the time, and He is, how would that awareness change how I spend my time?  If I also imagine He knows my thoughts and motives because He made my heart and knows it, how would that change how I think, and my reasons for my choices?  If I imagine He is right beside Him all day, would I be more careful about wasting time, doing useless or even harmful things, and pleasing myself much of the time?  Would I be more careful about my words, knowing He hears all I say?  Would I be more careful to please Him even in my thoughts, knowing He hears every thought?  Would I talk to Him more, knowing He is right there?  I need to practice an awareness of His Presence.  It wlll change my life.