Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time-- A vastly wasted commodity

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Where has the time gone??? I think I ask myself that question almost daily -- when I am running errands; when I am talking with a friend; when I look and see that my baby is now riding his bike down the street all by himself. Wasn't it just yesterday or 2 hours ago or last week???? Time is of no consequence to the realities of life. It is one of those concepts that goes on with or without our agreement and by no means needs our assistance. We cannot stop it or even slow it down. TIME is an entity of its own. How we choose to approach it is another story and defining process of how we live our lives.
Think about it - how we spend our time can ultimately define us. For instance, how do I spend my time each day? What do I do with my "free time" or that time in which has no predetermined purpose or is carved out by a "have to do" but conversely set aside for a "want to do?" In reality I look back on my own practices of time management and sometimes lack thereof and realize that I haven't been a good steward of my time. Activity translates into fruit as far as I am concerned. What I mean by that is, how I spend my time will produce something -- an affect, a feeling, something tangible -- sometimes I even have something to show for my efforts. At other times, I may squander and waste this precious commodity.
The Bible tells us that we are known by our fruits. (Luke 6:44) Typically, where our time is spent is an outward expression of our heart. (Matt 6:21). So, as I begin to wrap my mind around these concepts and try to figure out what it has to do with how I spend my time, it comes to me that we do the things we have a passion for. Yes, we have to work and some of us do not enjoy our jobs and spend a considerable amount of time being miserable in them. But what we miss is the condition of our heart while doing the "have to's" in our life. What is our motivation? Sure, you dislike your boss and your job but do you do the best job you can and strive to give 100% despite your feelings? Your motivation is your heart not your feelings about a particular task. Why do you do the things you do?
How do I spend my free time? YIKES!! OUCH!! Stepping on my own toes here!! How much time do I waste on Facebook, playing Farmville, reading books, watching TV etc? What fruit is it producing? How does it show my heart? If I am honest, it doesn't bear much fruit and certainly doesn't show my heart. In my own mind, my heart is with God and my family but what fruit do I have to show for it. The truth is that the roots of my own life don't run that deep and that is my fault. I need to spend more time intently focusing on the WORD, fellowship with God and better maintenance of my time to cultivate my roots to truly reflect the heart I want to have. Once the nourishment finds it's way to the root, they will grow, flourish, expand and give me more of a solid foundation to handle whatever life throws at me.
So, in essence, I feel that how I spend my time is a reflection of how I am living my life for Christ. I honestly cannot live a fruitful and abundant life without daily and frequent infusions of His Word, His presence and His leading in my life. To borrow from a song, "He is the air I breathe." My time would be better served at the foot of the cross and not so much in front of the TV, on the web or napping -- all things well intentioned and okay in moderation but not as the focus and sole activity in my life.
Dear Heavenly Father - I pray that You forgive me for those times that I neglect You and squander precious time doing mindless activities verses working with You to do Your will. I pray that You make it apparent to me the times I could be more productive. I pray that others will know You by the fruit that I produce since You and You alone are my foundation! In the precious name of Jesus - AMEN
Application:
  • How do you spend your time? What type of fruit are you producing?
  • Examine your life and see what areas you could be more effective for God.
  • Pray and ask God to open Your eyes to the things He would like you to do with the time he has given you. Pray for a hunger and desire for the things of God and to not be distracted by the things of this world that so easily entangle you.