As time “tick-tocks” away, have you discovered creative and courageous ways to live a more positive day with your thoughts, words, and actions? How about hopefully being one of the many who will bring a greater hope and redemptive future to our communities, nation, and world?
With this month’s lifeskill, Time Management, let’s see how we work around and through those barriers that keep us from redeeming our time and lives. As mentioned in previous January’s lifeskill articles, we all must face our motives for what we think and do. Our motives are all wrapped up in our core values. Hopefully, our relationships support those values and help us manage our time with purpose and joy.
Yet, we all know life tends to bring us twists and turns that get us off track. The struggles, traumas, busyness, and even opportunities challenge us in ways we never imagined. Where do you find the insight to know how to face and win over those challenges? I often find practical words of wisdom from those enduring verses, such as “Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence] . . .” (Ephesians 5:15-16 AMP).
It’s time to explore these tenets of truth and words for just a moment as we learn how to redeem our time:
- Live life with honor, purpose, courage, shunning evil
- Be wise, sensible, intelligent, discerning
- Make the most of your time
- Take advantage of each opportunity used with wisdom and diligence
First, ask yourself, “Why?” Well, the words that follow the above verse send us a reality check when we see all around us that evil does exist, and horrible things happen. Just read the latest predictable headlines about some malevolent persons or group intent on fulfilling their drive to steal, kill, and destroy whatever is good, honorable, and worthy of praise.
The only way to face the challenges of those intent on either slowing you down or stopping you in your tracks is to choose the path of honor, integrity, and courage . . . emphasis on courage! You will eagerly find yourself running fast as you can to shun the temptations to be tripped up or join in the chaos and havoc you see in front of you. Even those seemingly small distractions from something or someone can lean you in a direction you really do not want to head toward. So, let us work on being wise, sensible, intelligent, and discerning . . . emphasis on discerning! We all will then be ready and willing to make the most of our time. We will also be able to then take advantage of each opportunity, used with wisdom and diligence . . . emphasis on diligence! Anything good and right will require perseverance and graceful tenacity to prevail.
Living out these four tenets of truth and time will bring light into any darkness.
Are you ready to make the most of the time God gives you on this side of heaven each 24-hour day?
Here are a few questions to consider for you and your family:
- What do you see on your 24-hour calendar?
- What feelings and thoughts surface about your average 24-hour day?
- Where are you satisfied with the use of your time?
- What areas would you like to change?
List those activities you have during a routine 24-hour period (a typical workday) and the number of hours spent in each activity—e.g. sleep 8 hrs., work 8 hrs., eating 3 hrs., dress 1 hr., play ½ hr., family 1 hr., friends ½ hr., cell phone 1hr., computer 1hr., others (yard, repairs, cleaning, cooking, travel, etc.). For your convenience, you can also utilize a 24-hour calendar clock pdf. Simply print off and fill in each hour slot. May you find this important exercise helpful in garnering time-redeeming possibilities for you and your family.
I leave you with a couple more verses to ponder as you pursue redeeming God’s gift of time with each moment of the day. Beyond your own thoughts and imagination, may you discover the wondrous things in store for you as you redeem your time.