Thursday, April 2, 2015

Time Management - Does God Care?

I recently spoke to a group of ladies at my church about God’s Time Management Plan. I thought I would share some of that here. So here goes Part 1 of 5.

I've been single, married, divorced, remarried, blended a family, raised children, and now have grandchildren. I've been a stay at home mom and worked from home and outside my home both part time and full time. Each scenario has represented a different set of challenges for managing time, but each also added a different opportunity for influence.

With today’s busy schedules and the expectations of those around us, we can feel as though our time is not our own. It belongs to our husband, our children, our employer, our church, etc. We each have the same 168 hours per week, but we all spend it differently.

I love the subject of time management and have read several books over the years that I would recommend; however, I would offer a disclaimer to take what works for you individually and throw out the rest.  But there is one book I have read that I would recommend with no disclaimer. It is applicable to every person and every situation. This book is, drum roll please, the Bible.

Does God care about our time and specifically time management?

Throughout scripture God is called the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. From Genesis 1:1 in the beginning through Revelation 22:13 as the first and the last, God is there. So who is better than God to ask about time management? He created it.

We see throughout scripture that everything is on God’s timetable. Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything. Creation was on a schedule taking only six days. Noah took over sixty years to build the ark, yet Nehemiah supervised rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days. Joseph endured thirteen years from being sold as a slave before becoming a ruler. David was anointed king as a boy, but it was many years later before he saw the fulfillment of that promise. Sarah gave birth when she was 90 years old (God does have a sense of humor). Jesus’ ministry was only three years.

I find it easier to understand the big picture of God’s timing, but I find myself looking for daily answers for managing my time. How would I spend my time if God were in charge of it? Would it be any different? As Christian women, is the question of time management what do we want to get done? Or is the question really what does God want us to do?

Acts 6:2-4 (ESV) “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’”

The twelve disciples were committed to preaching God’s word. They devoted themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. They knew what they were called to do, but that probably isn’t the same as what you and I are called to do. We should all be devoted to prayer and scripture, but someone has to serve tables.

I've heard for years the proper priority of God first, then my husband, then my children, and then the other various things such as home, church, and career. But I have to go to work from 8:00 to 5:00, so how do I manage those priorities?

There are three principles I refer to as time management alarms that I will discuss in my next three posts. Be watching for how to 1) Weigh In on Purpose, 2) Flex Our Plans, and 3) Withdraw to Win Early. 

Have a great day, and begin thinking about what God wants from you each day.

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