Monday, June 14, 2010

Late again!

Time flies when you're having fun. And it crawls when you're waiting or doing unpleasant work. Scripture says to "redeem" the time, to use it wisely, and not to waste it. That means different things to different people.

Some people seem naturally gifted at spending time. We all get the same amount, day in and out. I know a few "time superstars." They are focused, productive, and never rushed. They seem to achieve all their goals without anxiety. Their friends feel loved and nourished without being shoehorned into a schedule, but allowed to flow in and out of life without hurry. It's not that my "time heroes" have no boundaries or no tasks to get done. Quite the opposite! But there's an orderliness to their spending. Like accountants who develop a good budget, these time managers build in flex and flow.

Some people look at their watches or day-timers and think they can wedge "one more thing" into the schedule. They run perpetually late because there is no margin built into the day - everything is crammed to the max so that one item running behind puts the whole time edifice into jeopardy.

These people are seldom more productive than others, and they annoy their friends by demanding conformation to a new timetable without warning. Theirs. It's easy to get irritated when someone infringes on our schedules. "How dare they think their time is more valuable than mine?" For us impatient wait-ers, remembering that all time belongs to God - and each minute is his gift - helps us balance our wants with others' needs and habits.

I'm sometimes a time offender. I'll see "a little something" needing to be done, and start impulsively on a quick task. "Oh, I can put this away in a hurry." As I'm waiting for my husband at the door, I think, "I'll just fix that. I'll be right out," making me the last one out the door and supposedly the "late one." If a client and I have a meeting time and he or she runs late, I'll make a phone call or get started on a new job. (Easily distracted - that's for sure.) Then I'm unprepared for their arrival. Probably seems like I'm late. Again.

Jesus never seemed to be running from place to place. No one mentions his impatience in waiting for others, either. His culture was different, but that's not the whole story. He had thirty years of growing up and maturing and about three "ministry" years to accomplish a Herculean task, bringing salvation to the world. I'm encouraged by his ease with people coming and going, yet "doing the Father's business" without frantic scurrying. He spent some waking nights of prayer, but built in rest and time to come aside with his disciples.

I want to approach my work and ministry with his calm heart, open to his guidance each part of the day or night. Now there's a worthy challenge for today!

Read more:

*Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man.A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. Proverbs 12:1-3 NIV

*Be very careful, then, how you livenot as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.Ephesians 5:15-21 NIV

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