I once read through the entire bible in 90 days. As I began I feared failure. The time commitment to read some 12 chapters of scripture each day, I feared I wouldn’t manage my time well enough to accomplish the goal. Time management is always an issue in our busy lives. Listen to these lyrics from Pink Floyd:
And you run, and you run
To catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same
In a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over
Thought I’d something more to say
A funny fact about time…we tend to find time for what we consider priority. We arrange our lives around what we consider to be the non-negotiable. A mother sacrifices career to stay home and raise her children. Another woman chooses career as the non-negotiable and finding a balance effectively nurtures her children through quality care and quality time. A man finds time to care for his aging parents. It is a non-negotiable in his mind to be there in this way. Another man chooses community service and arranges for quality caregivers to come to his parents’ aid. We get done what we consider to be priority.
Historians say the hunter-gatherer worked roughly 20 hours a week providing for his clan. The rest of the time he protected the family and enjoyed community life. Now with all our modern conveniences we have less time to enjoy our families and community. We are giving it all to the office or the job or whatever it is we think we have to give it to in order to live, thrive and survive.
Here’s the truth about time: We all have the same amount given to us each day, except for our first and last day. Events occur that interrupt our plans, but we still have 24 hours a day to rest, work, and play.
Once I saw an illustration where one put beans in a jar and then ping pong balls. The ping pong balls wouldn’t fit all the way in the jar. The beans are the small stuff and the ping pong balls represent the priorities. If we focus on the small stuff first (the fad of the moment, the organizational fire of the moment or somebody else’s agenda) we won’t have room for our real priorities. But put in the ping pong balls in the jar first. Then pour in the small beans. Amazingly they all fit in the jar. The same is true in life. If we give time and energy to our priorities first, everything else seems to fall into place.
Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His right ways and everything else will be given to you (Mat. 6:33).” God knows what I need and is trustworthy to provide.
Rev. Scott Tyring
Roberts Park UMC