If reality says “life is brief” (read Ecclesiastes 1:1-11), and the gospel says that Jesus can bring meaning and purpose into every life, every aspect of our lives, and every moment, then a crucial question is “Am I spending my life and time on purpose?” If life is brief, then how we spend our time and energies is crucial to avoid “chasing the wind.” This calls us to wise “life” time management. In my last post “Ultimate Meaning” we addressed life values and vision. And now we have to take those values and vision, the things that are most important and ensure that we are using our time to live those out. If you tell me a relationship is important, but you spend little to no time with that person, I’d ask you how important that relationship really is. If something is important, we’ll invest our time.
Here’s an clarifying exercise:
1. Record how you spend your time over a week (and even two or three if you want an accurate snapshot).
2. Put each activity into a category and then assign a percentage of how much of your week is spent on that activity.
3. Is there a “gap” between your time and your values?
4. What can you change to ensure that you’re spending your time in alignment with your values?
Americans watch more than 200 Billion hours of TV each and every year. Clearly, we collectively have more time than we think we have. We just use it on other things. We will always find time and money to do what is important to us.
How we spend our time reflects what we value most. If we value other things more than we value Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His mission, we will not live with ultimate meaning and purpose. We’ll wonder where life went. Remember, we can’t ultimately fix what we originally broke – only Jesus can. And there’s a world of people around us who need to hear that from us and see us live that out. So our prayer becomes what is written in Psalm 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”