“Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.” Charles Spurgeon.
Have you ever muttered to yourself “I don’t have enough time to _____.”
I’ll leave it blank and let you fill in the word with something you’ve been “wanting to do” but just can’t seem to find the time.
If you have, don’t despair. You aren’t the only one. I’ve said it more times than I care to admit. From starting an exercise plan to a room “no-renovation overhaul.” I’ve even said them to myself as recently as a couple of months ago. It was then that I had a little “enlightening” meeting with myself.
My wake-up moment developed like this.
I’ve been thinking about a series of devotional books. “But, I don’t have time to write a whole series,” my inner nagging voice complained.
First, I sat timer for one-minute. Then, I prepared to “dirty type or dirty write.” Don’t worry, no foul language happened. It’s when I write more and stress less about perfection, and more on just getting the words out of my head. I leave any editing until later. Since I type faster than I write, I grabbed my keyboard and my writing software that also gives me a word count.
I wanted an accurate time, so I wrote on something I knew without having to think too much. My topic? I wrote about everything I had done from sunrise until that moment.
When the timer trilled its melody, I counted the words. How many was it? I managed 67 words, albeit imperfect, misspelled, and poor grammar. I sat the timer again and picked up where I left off. That session was 63 words.
I took the experiment a little further. This time, I sat the timer again and continued the diary. If I ran out of anything to write, I planned on writing about the previous day. However, since I write detailed descriptions to get words on the page, my little diary didn’t go past noon! It shocked me to find out I typed 357 words in that 5-minute sprint.
Done with the timer, I moved to the calculator. Between all the sprints, l I typed 487 words. In a writer’s world, that’s a big number towards moving to a finished book if I can replicate it. I knew then I had been thumbing my way and sliding past, getting some personal writing projects started and finished.
With this knowledge, I broadened my trial. There’s been some downsizing, cleaning and purging I’m wanting to do. But, with the fallacy of “I don’t have time to undertake such a vast project” I never started it.
This time, I set the timer for 5 minutes and moved to the bedroom. My thought was if I could just make some headway one drawer at a time, I would get things purged. You know what? It worked? I didn’t dawdle, and I cleaned out one plastic grocery bag of unneeded “foundation-ware.”
Obviously, I DO have time, even if it’s snippets of 5-minute increments. However, I know my reality. I don’t have to rely on snippets. I just need to manage my time better!
Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise;
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17, WEB)
Into the Word…
This passage explains about being careful how you live, not as an unwise person but as a wise person. To do this, you make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. This version says “redeem” our time and make the most of our days. Are days really evil? According to the Greek definition, evil is read “Evil, bad, wicked, malicious, SLOTHFUL (CAPS are mine.)” OUCH. Yes, the Bible talks about using our time wisely. When we don’t, we aren’t living to our fullest potential.
Over the past couple of months my online presence has changed. I disengaged from so much Social Media. I left various groups, un-liked pages that aren’t relevant, and unsubscribed from several newsletters. As a writer, and one who knows she needs to “build her platform” I used Social Media as one of my platforms. But, I also know I didn’t use it wisely.
Its talons were deep into my basic daily mode of operation. I had to make some changes. I did. I am. It’s a work in progress. As I’ve made time by letting go of social media things that weren’t moving me towards my end goal, I’ve found time for doing other things. As a result, I also have more time to write.
If you haven’t noticed, you’re seeing a lot less of me on Facebook. I did this exercise a couple of months ago and it was eye opening. I’m not one that really says, “I don’t have time to write.” Every day is a Saturday for me. However, I’ve complained to my writing group many times that I have so many things to write about and not enough time to do it.
I know it sounds so cliche to say that we only have one life to live, so LIVE it. But, after a year of much of life being seemingly “on hold”, I needed this reality check.
In closing, I invite you to prayerfully consider Psalm 90:12. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
- Did the Lord speak to your heart about using your time wisely?
- What is one change you could make today to move the wisdom meter in your heart?