I NEED MORE TIME (Lies we believe 3)
Despite all our labor-saving devices and means of instant communication today, we seem to be busier than ever. We look forward to the kids being grown, then gone and then to retirement – thinking at each of these junctures we won’t have so much to do. Still, we seem to be busier than before. We spend our time doing good things and then don’t have enough time for the best things. Our relationships with God and others suffers because we lack quality and quantity time to invest in them. Then we live with guilt because we don’t have time to pray and read the Bible or to spend with family and loved ones. Books are written, seminars held and many claim to have the cure – but nothing changes. Is this the way life is to be, or are we being somehow deceived (lied to) about what we need to do?
I think we are. The lie is that we don’t have enough time to do everything. But the truth is that we have enough time to do everything God wants us to do. The tricky part is separating what God wants us to do from all the other ‘stuff’ we want to do. That may seem impossible to do, but Jesus did it. He made an amazing statement recorded in John 17:4 “I have finished the work which You gave me to do.” When is the last time you said you were done with everything that needed to be done? When do you end up with extra time at the end of the day and a feeling of completion with everything checked off your list?
Well, you say, He was Jesus so He could do that. But remember He went through everything as a person like us, not as God (“kenosis” Philippians 2:7). His key to success is seen in what He said: “I have finished the work which YOU gave me to do.” Everything wasn’t done. The New Testament still had to be written, churches started, leaders trained, theology developed, etc., etc., etc. There was more to be done, much more – but God didn’t give that to Jesus to do. God gave Jesus 7 24-hour days in a week and expected Him to accomplish all that NEEDED to be done in that time. He expects the same with us as well. And that includes stewardship of our bodies, relaxation, time with God and investing in relationships, to say nothing of taking one day off a week to rest! So either God is giving us more to do than He is giving us time to do it, or we are adding to the things God wants us to do. That is wrong because it takes time from what He does want us to do. We end up doing them instead of, not in addition to, what God wants, even if we neglect our health and relationships to do so. The solution is to not try to squeeze more into a day, but to be sensitive to what God wants us to do. Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Oh that we would say that today!
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Do you believe the lie that you need more time in a day? You need more money, but you prioritize to pay what comes first so you can live within the amount of money you have (at least I hope you do!). Can you do the same with your time? What good things can you cut out in your life so you have time for the best things? Do you skimp on your time with God and family in order to do more things on your list? Pray and ask God for wisdom about your priorities.
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization