Ever feel like there is just NOT. ENOUGH. TIME?
Not enough time in the day, not enough time in the week, not enough time in the morning, or before bed. There’s not enough time for pooping—alone, or showering— alone; much less for “me time”—alone!?!?!
Heck, there’s barely any time left for reading this dang blog post!!
I hear ya, I feel ya, and I am tempted to believe the very same thing. But, my sweet-tempered and understanding husband said something one day that just knocked my arguments about our time-constraints flat on their backsides. We were talking about “other people’s” excuses for why they don’t help handle things in a family, or in a church group, or in a relationship, or even at their own workplace! And he said this:
“You know? No one has any more or less time than anyone else.” “We all have the same amount of time in each day. The only difference is how we use it.”
::Fah-whoooop! High pitched screams echoed in the room:: (That was the sound of my pride intermingled with obstinance exiting their high and mighty balloon and then falling to the floor to be swept up and discarded along with the dog hair that needs to go into the trash, later…when I have the TIME.) 😉
O.M.G. Really?!? Cause, I am pretty sure that I used to LOVE saying there “wasn’t enough time” for something as my excuse for turning down invites to this bible study or outing, or that-luncheon/potluck/white-elephant/birthday/high-tea/garagesale/baptism/barmitzfah/communion/quinceanera/who.am.I.kidding.I’ve.never.been.to.one.of.those.because.I.don’t.ever.have.the.TIME. etc.
The truth was, I just felt plain old tuckered out and I didn’t FEEL like being “on” anymore for anyone else that day. TRUTH.
He was right. We all have the same hours in each day—but we have CHOSEN to commit ourselves or OVER-commit ourselves to various and sundry activities that may or may not be good for our souls. If we are having to complain about the way we spend our hours each day, and turn down seemingly fun activities because of our TIME commitments, then it might be time for us to stop and reconsider our priorities and our commitments and if they are helpful or hurtful.
Some of them have got to be un-necessary, and possibly even harmful to ourselves and because of that our families.
WHAT?!?! We could be hurting our families?!?!?! Our over-committed-ness could be draining us and putting extra strain on everybody else!? (Don’t act so shocked, you’ve thought of that, but the solution requires you to go against your deeply ingrained type-A habits, so you have put it aside till later…when you have more TIME to think about it.)
This issue practically begs for attention within our spirits, but for some reason within our society and within the cultures of our overly-political churches the idea of a woman(or man for that matter) being “over-committed” to anything is a taboo concept. I mean who is going to get everything done if the busy people stop and re-assess what truly matters in their lives? It’s as if no one will give us permission to take the time to care for ourselves. I’ve only heard it in education seminars, and usually a joke about wine is shortly to follow.
(Now, I do enjoy some wine, I mean, Jesus did too…(John Chp. 2) but it is definitely not the answer to the TIME issues we face on a daily basis.)
There’s that saying, “If you need something done and done right, ask a busy person.”
(There is probably a reason this saying is still uttered.) Busy people are the ones who follow through till the job is done, and they usually want it done right if they are going to allow their names to be attached to the finished product. Another reason it hasn’t died out as a cliche is probably because BUSY PEOPLE HAVEN’T LEARNED HOW TO SAY ‘NO’. Even, to their loved ones detriments.
Matthew 5:37 “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
It’s okay! The Bible says just pick one, but then make sure you stick to it! Keep your word.
I am talking to myself when I say this because I am a type-A, over-achiever, who wants to handle it all herself, and if you offer your help I won’t accept until I think about the story of Martha in the bible (Luke 10:38-42), and then I begrudgingly allow you to “help” me, even though, I didn’t REALLY need it, because I need to spend some time at the feet of Jesus, so that people won’t judge me for hiding in the kitchen!! (Gosh that was a long sentence.)
So, I am saying this to myself when I say,
“You need to chill.out.”
We throw ourselves headlong and fool-hardy into everything we do, it’s completely acceptable to approach quiet time, TV time, rest, bath time, and gardening in the same manner. And stick to your guns if you feel those pastimes need to be accomplished ALONE.
It’s okay. I give us permission to work hard, don’t stop being you. You are WONDERFUL. You are a super hero, you see what needs to be done, and you do it! You are a need-meet-er! But I also give us permission to play hard, to enjoy that which this life has to offer us, and what God has blessed us with, and that which our hands have labored to produce. And THEN, I give us permission to sleep hard too! We have dang near earned an 8:00 bedtime more than 1,000 times. But do we get it? Never. So what should we do? TAKE it. By force if necessary!
Ecclesiastes 5:12 “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.”
I mean, c’mon, if we fall apart—the whole family fails to locate things that are cleverly hiding right in front of their faces (milk, keys, and the list goes on) jerseys stay grass stained, and homework gets “misplaced.” Oh it’s chaos!
Therefore I say the following: You are human. We are perishable items, let’s live accordingly.
Each week has one day built into it as a day of rest—it was modeled for us since the very first beginning of our planet. Yet, with all our modern conventions we have changed that idea into one where that day is instead intended for worship and being together with a committed body of believers. I am not bashing those thoughts or desires. I am just trying to go back to the way it seemed it was meant to be when Sunday or the Sabbath was first shared with us. (After all, the orig. Meaning of “shabbat” is ‘to rest’.)
“For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him.” Ecclesiastes 8:6
Now—we can take more than one Sabbath or ’rest’ throughout our weeks, lives, day, etc. but there is one day made specifically for us to rest in. So we just need to remain mindful of that and use it as the gift it was intended to be.
I am learning how to plan, take, and MAKE time (and myself) choose to rest, to play, to relax, and to simply enjoy the flow of the life God has given me. This does not mean my personality has changed, or that I am advocating becoming a slacker—
Proverbs 16:27-29 The Living Bible (TLB)
27 “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.
28 An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
29 Wickedness loves company—and leads others into sin.”
But, I am saying that we are abusing God’s original intentions for us, for our places within the church, and for the meaning of Sabbath.
Let’s make a concerted effort to stop doing that, I am!
Ecclesiastes 3:17 “I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.”
We will be held accountable for how we use our time on this earth. Year by year, moment by moment, whether we were distracted by meaningless things, or if we were appointed and on task according to God’s precious will for our individual callings. So let’s simply choose to be faithful! That is the key to unlocking all the perceived ‘closed doors’ we face in our lives. Let’s choose to be faithful—not solely to our commitments, our family, our spouses, our jobs, our personalities, or our children, but moreover—let’s choose to dig into the word, and be faithful to what God has set before us, surely all of those aforementioned things have a place, but I can’t help feeling that most of us have prioritized them out of God’s intended order.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To Everything There is a Season—There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven– a time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted…”
We already know that all of these things have a place in this life. I have just come to a place where I feel strongly that it is high TIME that I figure out where those things fit, into what time and what place. Because I want to be a good steward of those things. I want to be a good steward of every breath I have been given. I want all of us to be on our A-game. So that when our co-heir to the throne comes back for us, we are ready and we are in the zone. Prepared to be held accountable for our days. Good and bad.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
Ecc. 3:11 (My best friend Megs’ verse for life.)
I couldn’t think of a better verse to close on. Here we have it. We have FOREVER written upon our hearts. Therefore, we need to stop saying we don’t have enough TIME. As this statement is a lie, and a direct contradiction to the precious and infallible word of God. We have got to rewrite the narratives we have been speaking over ourselves.
I think as homework, I am going to start saying this when people ask me if I have got a moment, “For you, I have 10 moments. ;)” or “I have no idea how much time I actually have, but I can think of no better way to spend it than with you/helping you.”
So—Let’s do this!
(For additional thoughts on how we spend our TIME see the post entitled “Divine Appointments: Are we ready for them?”