I don’t know about you, but I am more aware of time right now than I have ever been. Mainly, I’m aware of how little of it I have. This isn’t some big, philosophical statement – I’m talking very practically. In the literal sense – the, “I only have 24-hours-in-a-day sense,” – I have never been more aware of how short days really are . . . because my to-do list is so, so long.
Seriously, lots of days start early and end when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer, and it seems like that entire time is spent rushing and planning and thinking and talking and working like crazy – and there’s never any rest time and there’s never any quiet time and I never get to spend the quality time with the people who really need my time the most. (Yes, I know that was a run-on sentence, but I wrote it that way on purpose – to illustrate how every day feels. There is no time to stop . . . even for a period!)
Sound familiar? It should – because I’m pretty sure I just described most of you, too. The question is, how did we get so busy? When did we lose control of our schedules and let our clocks become our Masters? We have allowed all of the stuff on the “TO-DO” list to block the things on the “MUST-DO” list. We allow work and practice and chores to replace relationship. And it’s not hard to understand why.
When you were a kid, you were probably taught (like I was) that you always have to do your work before you can play. On Saturday morning, when you got up, you were forced to do your chores before you could go outside and play ball. When you got home from school, you did your homework before you watched TV. When you sat down to dinner, you ate your vegetables before you got dessert. That’s the proper order of things . . . or so we were taught.
But how many of us apply that rule to one another? We say, “Well, I have to get all of my work done before I can spend quality time with my family. No playtime until work time is over. You know what the problem with that philosophy is? Work time is never over. Your TO-DO list is never empty. And even if you can somehow get to a place where you see the end of it for today, by that time you are so spent that you have nothing else to give.
Which is why we so desperately need a paradigm shift. We have to somehow come to grips with the idea that there is something more important than work. There is something more important than that promotion, or that degree, or that project, of that lesson or that practice or . . . well . . . fill-in-the blank. Those things are okay. In fact, they’re good. But we need to invest the best of ourselves into each other, and by the way, into our kids.
Yes, there is work to be done, Martha. And we have to do it. But sometimes, you just have to pause at sit at the feet of the one you love. You know what I mean? Sometimes, you just have to stop invest your time in things with lasting value. How many people work like crazy, achieve all of their goals, and gain the whole world . . . but are left with no one to enjoy them with? Change your mind about what’s important. Put first things first. Repent.
As you pray over your time, here are two articles that offer some profound insight into your time:
First, here is an article by Steve Brown, one of my favorite preachers, on what happens when we allow ourselves to be still: http://www.ptm.org/07PT/SepOct/remind.pdf
And here is an article from the iMom website, entitled, “Children Spell Love T-I-M-E”. (Thank you, Cindy Hylton, for passing this link along to me!)http://www.imom.com/parenting/tweens/relationships/child/love-children-spell-love-t-i-m-e/