What does God think?
Before we discuss specifics about Time Management I want to take just one posting to consider briefly what God’s view of time is.
In Ps 90 the psalmist tells us to ‘number our days’ (v12) having already told us in verse 10 that ‘the years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty’. I once spoke to a Godly ‘elder statesman’ who took verse 12 literally, telling me the exact number of days since he started praying for revival, which coincided with the number of days since he became a Christian!
70 years is 25,567 days. How many of those have you had? Use the diagram to work it out.
Verse 12 continues ‘…that we may get a heart of wisdom’. The psalmist is telling us to make a realistic assessment of how long our lives will last so that we handle them wisely.
The Psalm ends with ‘Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!’ (Ps 90:17). In other words, how we lead our lives is a partnership between God and us. He has great plans for us and has built in enormous potential. He longs for us to fulfill His will and walk in obedience to Him.
Jesus said ‘you are my friends if you do what I command you’ (Jn 15:14). But God has given us freewill and does not over-ride that. Look again at Ps 90:17. The psalmist is pleading with God to make our work effective; but, by implication, this can happen only if we walk in His will. In Prov 16:3 we read ‘Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established’. As we plan prayerfully we can expect to have sufficient time to accomplish all that He wants from our lives.
In the next blog we shall begin to look at some of the practical ways in which we need to approach time management. However, let me first make one comment about the difference culture makes to our approach to time management.
Relationship or Task?
I have many very close friends in Africa, India and other ‘warm climate’ cultures, to quote the excellent book Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier. In such cultures they will say to me ‘you have the clocks we have the time’. The sentiment behind this is that they are more relational while I am more task-led. I agree! But neither approach is ‘right’ in any absolute sense – so we must take care to avoid polarizing the difference.
Jesus accomplished a huge amount but always seemed to have time for people. Relationship or Task? Jesus seemed to be able to embrace both and my desire is that we should emulate him, combining relationship with accomplishment.
I believe that what I shall share will help you to accomplish this!