“There is an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 The Message Bible).
December 26th is my son’s birthday. He was born at 2:30 p.m. CST. When a baby is born, someone, usually the attending physician or midwife, checks the time of an infant’s birth, and it is noted on the birth records. The same is true when we die; the time is noted and recorded on an official death certificate, and in between those two times we are obsessed with time.
What time is it? What time should we go? Who has the correct time? Is there time to do that? Where did the time go? As humans, in a human world, we worry about time—all the time. We put clocks on our walls, our computers, and our phones. But God does not keep time as we do. God is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
However, God does care about how we use our time. Not in idleness nor in busyness, but in balance. Our time here on Earth is God’s gift to us and, therefore, God is most knowledgeable about how we can best use that time. Because God is the creator of time, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would be the best one to consult on how to use time?
Here are some strategies that I found to be helpful is deciding how to use my time:
- I pray over my to-do list; amazed that God sometimes changes what I thought to be my priorities.
- Build the day beginning with one nonnegotiable activity-the most important item to get done.
- My next strategy is a list of about 3-5 important items for each day. I may add a few very minor items to that list, like a phone calls or an errand.
- Don’t just write a to-do list; consult it frequently to keep on track of accomplishments.
- My philosophy to counterbalance feeling overwhelmed is that I can only do one thing at a time, but I can always be doing one thing.
- When I feel creative, I decorate my list with an inspirational saying, stickers, or anything that makes me smile as I look over my work list.
- Break down big tasks into little tasks, until they are small enough to be easily manageable.
- Be gentle, but also honest with myself, in discovering what works best.
I feel confidant that when I prayerfully set the agenda I am able to more wisely use my time. God, the Creator of Time, always gives his children enough time to do what he calls them to do.