Friday, January 13, 2017

Juggling Time

It’s been a long time since I gave up New Year’s resolutions, now I opt into learning or doing something different. 

So far I’ve been pretty good at trying things that I may not have tackled had I really thought about what I was getting myself into for each situation.  Hindsight* … is always relevant

Camel riding, ice skating, water skiing, climbing the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico in August, bringing a cat to a nursing home and taking a snake to church were a few of those “What was I thinking” ideas.  I’m doing better with quilting, but nowhere near done, and learning to play drums is still on my “bucket” to do list in case you were wondering.  (Read that story here.) 

Most recently I’ve taken on the challenge of learning to juggle.  Although I’m not really good at it, mastering two objects at a time is going okay.  Throw in an extra orange or two and you might as well forget it.  Although it would make for plenty of You Tube laughter, I wondered if this is what we’d call “time management” worthy or productive. 

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Toss it Here 

Sometimes my mind does the strangest things at the most inopportune times, as it did the other day after we finished lunch.  Hubby and I were seated at the table talking when I noticed some of our tangerines were looking a bit unhappy, meaning they needed to be eaten asap.  Grabbing a few I tossed one to my husband and I took one to eat as well, only neither of us did. 

For no reason in particular we began playing “orange ball.” (No, we don’t make it a habit of playing with food, but this just happened.)  Tossing one back and forth we would switch hands to see if our skills were still there.  With both of us being former baseball players and coaches, I wondered if we still “had it.”  Whew … we did and no oranges were harmed in the process! 

Picking up a few more of these “Cuties” I decided it was time to practice my juggling.  Peeling his as he watched me, I challenged hubby to give it a try as well. 

“No, I’m terrible at it. I can’t keep them in the air.” 

Totally confident in his ability to outdo me I said, “You can with only two. Try it.”   

So there we were juggling away with not many mishaps, but a ton of laughter causing us to enjoy our meal time more than usual.  Even though all this was a healthy kind of fun, something was way out of balance and it totally threw off my schedule. 

Break Time 

Our table time turned into fun time and our lunch time turned into way too much time sitting around doing nothing that really mattered.  It had me thinking about other things that I spent too much time on in the past, when in fact it wasn’t the right time to do some of those things at all. 

The point is, while I love learning to do fun stuff (which includes activities that don’t take any planning – just spur of the moment things), sometimes juggling my time around to include them becomes a problem especially when they overtake what I really should be doing.  Maybe you can relate to that as well. On the other hand, when do I allow for them to be part of my day without feeling guilty?

Along the way I’ve learned that spending quality time with my husband isn’t a sin or a waste of “valuable” time; now it is something that we try to do each day and is biblical.  Being only the two of us, we tend to do the unusual almost all the time and we pretty much have a good time while doing it.    

Now that hubby is home more (due to the health recovery process), I find it’s really hard for me to stay focused. He is a real distractor; not because he is doing anything to keep me from work, but I don’t want to work when he’s around.  I love being able to have meals with him, because we didn’t have that many in the past due to our jobs. 

Our schedules were so tight that I had to set alarms every two hours to take a break.  Before I’d work right through them, but now it’s a pleasure to take them and if it’s nice outside I’m like a kid who doesn’t want to come in to do my “chores”. 

These days long walks are out, but break times may consist of going outside and kicking a ball around, snipping away a bit of things in the garden, playing with a kitty or snapping a few pictures for some articles.  All of these things may not look like they “count” toward eternity, but they do add value to my relationship with hubby, the overall life vision and plan by helping me to refocus. 

Here’s the real issue that ignited my studying what God said about our use of time.  How do we juggle our time for the fun things into the vision God has for us and still live a balanced life? 

Spending Time 

Probably the most contemplated questions in life have to do with time.  Let me ask you this, how many times a day do you look at the clock or does someone ask you for the time?  I know that I’m constantly looking at mine whether it’s one on the wall, my watch or on the computer.   

Everything I do revolves around how I can manage or “juggle” my time to make room for all the things I want to do for that day, and have them fit into my plans.  Thus the problem … my plans! 

The Apostle Paul reminds us that God has given each of us a specific amount of time (allotted days) that we’re going to live here on earth, and one day we’ll have to give an account for how we spent it.  

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people); making the very most of the time (buying up each opportunity), because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 AMPC) 

We "spend" time as if we're expecting to get change! I don’t know about you, but I want my time to count for something so that means checking in with God about His plans for my life. 

Making the Most of Your Time 

Throughout scripture Paul talks about two types of people and how they use their time.  There are those who aren’t mindful of the time and spend it doing things that benefit themselves.  Nothing they do will last for eternity.  Keeping company with people who have no vision or plan for their life will cause us to abandon our calling. 

Then there are those who are mindful of the time, and make the most of it by understanding what the will of the Lord is concerning their lives.  The real question is which one do we want to be? 

It’s easy to waste time by drifting along in life letting the days wither away without accomplishing one thing.  Then we have the nerve to look back and ask: 
“What happened to my life?  What did I do with it? 
Here I am at this age and I thought I would have done
so much more with my life, but have nothing to show for it.”  

Psalm 31:15 says our time is in God’s hands. He is the one who sets the days we have here on earth. He has numbered them and knows exactly when the last day will be for each individual.   Understanding this concept we need to purposely juggle our time schedule around the “visionary” plan rather than any other plans. 

Are You a Good Time Manager? 

Like you, there are some jobs that I could qualify for as “manager” if I was asked to do so.  Being in leadership fields I’ve been graced with the opportunity to oversee many projects and events, but have I been a good steward over how all the time was spent in walking out the vision for each?  Would God have been pleased with how I managed what He gave me to do through His favor, or did my time go to something else? 

“As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as (befits) good trustees of God’s many-sided grace (faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians
 by unmerited favor).” (1 Peter 4:10 AMPC) 

Our gifts and spiritual abilities are an act of God’s grace (favor) on our lives because of His love for us. We are to put these gifts to work serving God by serving other people.  How do we do that?   

If we are to look at time and talent as part of the favor of God on our lives, the Bible says we are to use them as servants of our spirit.  In other words, put your gifts and time to work for you.  Rule over them to benefit the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ, doing things that count for eternity. 

The Best Time Saver Secret 

Trying to relax and do fun things when I “had” work to be done was always difficult for me.  For me this was saving time so I could do other things, but the other things never came because I didn’t juggle my time to make room for them. 

I’d grade papers in a restaurant or during sports events, write thank you notes or letters during time with my hubby, and forget about actually sitting down watching a movie without doing something that “needed” to be done!  Everything I did was important and required all my time including doing things for God or the church.   

Surely I must be using wisdom because my time was so designated that there wasn’t any left to waste.  That’s where I got it all wrong.  I spent so much time doing things for God that I never spent time with Him asking Him what He needed me to do each day. 

Would you like to know the best kept secret for saving time and finding favor with God?  The greatest time saver in the world is prayer!  Yes, that’s it – prayer.  I spent time reading or studying scriptures and praying for understanding during those sessions, but neglected to ask for guidance in carrying out God’s Word in my life.  

As a Christian you would have thought I knew better, but I wasn’t taught that I had access to the Holy Spirit or God’s favor!  How could I possibly know that my juggling time to get everything accomplished all added up to a simple checklist in life, and nothing more? 

Give Me Just a Little More Time 

It’s true, as believers when we spend time with God seeking His guidance for our lives, we don’t usually spend time on things that count for eternity.  In order to do it all we simply need more time! 

Our prayers consist of “Lord show me ….  Lord, help me to do … Father God, give me, give me, give me …. I need, I need …”   

Although God delights when we seek His guidance for things that we have to do concerning “life” matters, we also need to ask what His will is for us on that given day or for our lives.  When we enter into our morning prayers we have the opportunity to ask God for His wisdom, guidance, discernment, direction and understanding for any situation.   

We also are given permission to ask God for His favor in carrying out the vision He has set for us, including help in time management that will count for His glory and for eternity. 

It makes all the sense in the world, but oh how we fail to take advantage of the favor benefits we received upon salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit.  God already knows what will happen every second and knows when to intervene in your schedule.   

We waste time because we don’t ask God what to do and how to do it. There is nothing more that God loves than to spend time with His children, and He is willing to reveal the mysteries through time spent in prayer. 

Redeeming the Time 

When we turn our lives over to Christ the Bible says we have been redeemed of our sins.  However, there is another type of redemption that is our responsibility – time and we are to take advantage of it recognizing that without Christ we are merely existing, not living.  Nothing we do will count toward anything and that’s why putting off salvation is foolish. 

It’s time we discover the will of God for our lives and do it.  Forget trying to juggle in things that don’t matter and start rearranging your time for things that count for eternity. 

Maybe part of God’s plan for your life is to take care of your family, build a business or work in the community, but there is another part of that vision for your life.  Are your days balanced with work, fun and leisure?  Do you have direction and purpose for what you are doing?   

Beloved, discover the will of God for your life. Our times are in God’s hands and putting off what He has directed will cause the favor He has set for your life not to be given. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Prayerfully Spend Time
Planning with God 

The Bible says that, “Life is but a vapor and vanishes away.  Knowing that the days are short on earth, what are we doing with them to make a mark in eternity?  Are we wisely using the time and talents we’ve been given by the Lord to make something out of our life?  (see James 4:13-14) 

I spent a lot of years juggling my time for things that weren't necessarily wrong or bad, but they didn’t count for much beyond that current time.  Many times I needed to do some things, but didn’t give time to relationships including quality time with God.  Thankfully through the favor of God and wise biblical teaching I've learned to value (not juggle) my time, appreciating those special lunches with my husband.  

He also showed me the difference in “working life” and “working relationships” – which included spending more time doing simple things to enjoy the abundant John 10:10 life He died to give me.  Time spent with God and those I love is valuable, and it cannot be replaced by tasks on my “gotta do this so juggle someone or something else out” list. 

This week’s challenge is to use our time more wisely in prayer knowing that our days are indeed numbered.  Evaluate whether or not your time and attention is counting toward eternity and fit for God’s plan.   

Why is it important to spend time with God in prayer?  This is why … 
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)

Are you happy with what you’ve accomplished in life?  Do you think God is satisfied with how you’ve managed the time and gifts He has graciously given?  First Corinthians three describes the kind of work that doesn’t last and the kind that will be rewarded in Heaven.  It would be good to refresh yourself on this scripture.   

Maybe you’re the opposite of me and you spend so much time in work or indulging those around you that you’re not accomplishing anything God has ordained for your life.  Pray for balance and wisdom in the way you are using time. 

God has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit so that we thrive in His favor to succeed at life, which includes balanced not “juggled” time at work, home and play without feeling any guilt.  Through prayer we can do life right and it will count eternally for Christ. 

Be sure to come back next week when we learn how successful people organize their day, and why it’s vital believers do the same. 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post.

Until next time, favor more time in prayer! 

“I favor spending time with you!”
Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.
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Juggling Time, Daily Favor Blog, Daily Favor Prayer, Favored1, Prayer, Christian Living, Inspiration, Your Time for Favor, Pyramid of the Sun, Mark Batterson, Changing Me, Obedience, Time Management

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