Monday, February 22, 2010

God had a Plan,
There Really is No Time Like the Present

I’m so glad God’s plan includes me! Part of His plan for me is to train me in the use of my time. I have to admit to you that although as a Christian I have pretty much always had a “quiet time” with the Lord on a fairly daily basis, often it was almost like an item on my “to do list” – once I got it done and crossed off, the rest of the day belonged to ME! Oh, my! So, although I did not practice outright sinful behavior, I sure could fritter away a lot of time on fairly useless activity, such as playing games on the computer.

One day several years ago I was talking to God about the computer game I was playing, and He told me very simply, “I would not make that choice.” I am not being legalistic – if I had limited the time I spent playing computer games wisely, I doubt God would have had to speak to me about it to begin with. In other words, taking a break now and then is a good thing. Unending hours spent playing computer games, on the other hand, is not time well spent. Not only that, it can become depressing, and I believe that is largely because we sense, as moral individuals, the negative value of time itself slipping away.

I didn’t immediately change my behavior, but I did think about what I believe the Lord had spoken. As I continued to move prayerfully forward with Him, He said some other things such as, “Organize your time and talents,” and “Too many hobbies.”

I am still learning in these areas – but I can tell you for sure that writing would have forever remained a “something I want to do someday” if I had not listened. In the exploration of just how the Lord might want me to spend the time and talents He gave me, in addition to writing deliberately, I began to develop other computer talents, things I never would have even thought to attempt – but I now can create basic websites and fairly simple computer art. If I had not obeyed Him and begun to “organize my time and talents” none of these things would have come about.

Why is there really no time like the present? At best, the past has been a great teacher and springboard for the present, and at worst, the past can only serve to haunt you, especially if you dwell on it. And no matter how bright the hope of tomorrow may be, every tomorrow, when it arrives, is really once again only today. The only moment we can exercise any control over is the present moment.

What do I mean by ‘exercising control over the present moment’? Exactly how to do that is certainly a bit different for each individual, especially considering our differing lives and circumstances. I am not suggesting leaving out the vital areas of our lives – the things we may not even have much choice about. Who gets up in the morning and says, “Shall I feed my children today, or let them go hungry because I have more important goals such as writing to attend to?” Nah, that would be really bad! Hah!

However, planning ahead is something ALL of us have to do if we hope to have any time for goals. One of the practical things I have begun to do once again lately is printing out a calendar and writing out my goals. It helps me stay focused – and it helps me divide my time wisely. If I continue to just let the days cruise along with me dangling in the wake, I will not be satisfied with the results. I will have managed to feed those poor children, no doubt, but the writing will remain a blank page.

So, organizing time – how relevant is that? Crucial, I believe. Otherwise goals are merely lies we tell ourselves as we fritter away the hours in pursuit of meeting immediate need or satisfaction. Long term consequences? All the tomorrows we dream of continue to turn into the todays we survive without ever realizing the accomplishment of God-given vision.

Psalm 90 contains some awesome words of wisdom concerning time. I especially like verse twelve.

So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.


1 comment:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

"Long term consequences? All the tomorrows we dream of continue to turn into the todays we survive without ever realizing the accomplishment of God-given vision."

Love this quote! Love the entire article. Even as I am learning to be more careful with managing my time, I still have days where my "all" overwhelms me, and I arrive at the end of my day confused and with little accomplished along the way.

Great thoughts. Thanks for stopping by the blog today.