Make Time for Now
Make Time for Now
If God sent someone to seek your advice or just talk to you, would you ignore them? Of course, my answer (and probably yours too) is no way! While reading Acres of Diamonds (J. Franklin, 2020), this question has been placed in my heart, undoubtedly, to make me look at my own behavior. I thought of times when someone wanted to speak with me, but I told them I had an appointment. When someone came to my office and I pretended to be busy, or times I thought my work was more important than spending time with the family. These were opportunities that I can never get back.
We have all been too busy and perhaps caused someone to feel unimportant. We didn’t set out to intentionally hurt people, especially loved ones, but we did. It happens because we sometimes get caught up in writing our story. We often give ourselves more importance than we merit, at the expense of others. We get so consumed with the main character, especially ourselves, that we leave little room or time for other role players. But what if we received the treatment, we sometimes give others? What if God was too busy? What if we really needed Him? What if we knelt in prayer, but received a message saying?
“You’ve reached the answering service for Heaven. God is currently unavailable; but your prayer is important. Please leave a brief message and He will get back to you as time permits. If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 9-1-1.
We never have enough hours to do things we think we need or want to get done. But “busy work” and “wasted time” consume much of our daily hours. According to research, we average 5 hours watching television, 6 hours surfing the internet and 3 hours and 15 minutes on the telephone. Author Stephen Covey explains:
"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent,
and not enough time on what is important."
We can’t afford to waste time; it is a limited resource, something to invest in. Spending time in busy work or unproductive activities is wasting a limited resource; but investing, yields a return, now and in the future. Investing means to involve or engage especially emotionally (Merriam Webster), as in our relationships. If you’re too busy to invest time in your relationships now, when will you have time? Tomorrow? Don’t count on it; our lives are like “a puff of wind” (Psalms 39:5, GNT).
“Busyness may make us feel important in our worldly settings, but all it’s really doing is taking time away from prayer, Bible study, and our personal intimacy with God (M. Ballenger, 2016). We spend on average 9 minutes a day in spiritual or religious activities. Is there any wonder we don’t seem to have time for God or each other?
If you want to improve the quality of your relationships, you must invest time continuously, and faithfully. “Proverbs 27:1 tells us that there is no guarantee the new day will bring opportunities to correct mistakes” (C. Lucey, 2020). Don’t wait for tomorrow; commit to start today. If you agree, you might be asking yourself; where do I start investing my time?
Jesus (Mark 12:30-31, NLT) tells us to start by loving God, but a word of caution is warranted. You can’t just show up for church service or prayer meetings; loving God requires more than our passing involvement. It demands “all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Secondly, He tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus called these two principles the greatest commandments; both requiring “dying to self.” The Bible (John 15:13, VOICE) says:
“There is no greater way to love than to give
your life for your friends (John 15:13, VOICE).”
But before we get too literal, giving your life means to get rid of our egos. “Dying to self includes our wants and desires, efforts at self-control, our self-centeredness, our self-confidence, truly anything to do with self.” Loving our neighbors means placing the same value on others as we do ourselves. We don’t view them as less important but equally important. The essence of loving our neighbors is to serve their needs, instead of our own. Like most things worth pursuing “dying to self” requires time, patience, and commitment.
Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time. If you struggle with time management read, “The Four Quadrants of Time Management” (A. Czartoryski). Don’t try to fix everything at once instead take one bite. Invest the time; aren’t your relationships worth it?
Challenge: If you want to know if investing time can really make that much of a difference, consider that Jesus’ ministry lasted approximately 3½ years. Jesus invested His time on preaching, feeding and healing thousands. In that short time, He developed a group of disciples to carry on His mission, and Jesus has literally saved (and continues to save) millions. His time was worth the investment! Wouldn’t you agree?
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