“Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned with. It responds like a snail to our impatience, then it races like a gazelle when you can’t catch your breath.” -Simon Birch
Time. 1140 minutes in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. You cannot bargain or barter for more. That’s all you get.
Life is busy and it never seems to stop. Responsibilities, work, school, parenting, cleaning, preparing, running errands, exercising, eating, sleeping, going to church, volunteering. The list could run infinitely longer and longer. I know for a fact you know what a busy life feels like and looks like. The quote from Simon Birch above explains how time works perfectly and he does it elegantly even.
It’s a game.
When we are in a season of waiting, time lurks about slowly, but then in an instant everything races by us and we cannot seem to hold it together. In the short seventeen years of my life, I could not recall feeling as though time passes at a moderate speed as a brown bear moves along through the forest. Time passes in one of two ways: snail speed or gazelle speed. To further show how time is a crucial part of our lives, I will say that time completely rules everything we do; time has maximum control over us unlike any other thing. Some people would argue that time is even more valued than money; an NBC poll says that 81% of Americans confirm that they need more quiet in their lives, time away from stressful schedules and agendas. Time is a game of constantly adding things into our schedules, but with every decision we make, there’s opportunity cost. (I’ll thank my economics teacher later for teaching me this concept). The concept of opportunity cost defined simply is what you give up to participate in something else; with every activity and responsibility, you add into your schedule, something else demands to be cut or sacrificed. We aren’t super humans capable of pushing ourselves beyond maximum capacity to participate in everything we desire or are asked to do. Some things just are not going to make it into our daily schedules and priorities.
So, what are your daily priorities? What are the things that make it onto your schedule every single day, without fail?
How we choose to spend our time daily is crucial, because you don’t get the time you spend reimbursed back to you in a time stipend.
So, on your list of daily priorities, where does God sit on the list?
Is He important in your daily life?
Do you set aside time with Him and focused for Him?
It’s ironic to me how we often cut time with the one who created time so that we have more time.
God promises us that you reap what we sow, that if you seek Him with your whole heart, He will pursue you and give you the desires of your heart. He promises to reveal if we spend the time listening.
The entire point of this post not to hound you, yelling “are you spending time with God daily? Ooooo… you’re not? You’re a sinner! God doesn’t love you” type deal. My point is to show you how valuable your time is. I want you to analyze how you are spending your time, because the minutes in these days is time you will never get back.
I want you to see that in life we need quiet if you long to hear the direction God desires us to move on or for Him to reveal something to you. It is hard to expect the voice of God to be heard among so much noise and scheduling in your life. Giving up some of the noise in your life, even for just five minutes, can lead to more dependency on God’s strength, and less dependency on your strength. Five minutes a day is all it takes; five minutes of surrendering the noise, the planning, and the scheduling to pay attention to the Creator of the Universe.
When we do this, He promises peace. He promises to lead us to green meadows. He promises that if we surrender our hectic lives to Him and find quiet, He will give us the ultimate rest. Psalm 23 is one of my all-time favorites, because it illustrates this promise perfectly.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.
Psalms 23:1-3 (NLT)
When you listen to God and find quiet in your busy schedule, God speaks to you. Shut out all the distractions and noise. Focus on His voice and who He truly is. Your time here is limited and every decision you make, has a cost.
This week, I challenge you to analyze how you are spending your time.
What gets most of your attention?
Is there something you need to mute in your life so that you may focus on God?
What is keeping you from muting that thing and depending on God’s strength?
Truly reflect on how you're spending your time and if you feel as though changes need to be made, make them.
Begin to depend on God’s strength and not your own, because soon you will be roaming through green pastures of peace and fulfillment.
Encouragement is a hard thing to tackle, but what if there was a way to break it down? Encouragement just becomes simpler when looked at through the lenses of faith.
In faith, we get to feeling stuck in the rut, feeling distant, feeling as though God is stagnant or absent, and being unsure of what to do next. This obvious silence and distance is often what turns people from Jesus, but we must persevere and remember that we live on God’s timing in God’s world.