I am also a failure at redeeming the time. Most of my prayers either at the end of the day or early in the morning are, Lord, forgive me for wasting my time! Forgive me for wasting Your time! I love You, Lord, and I thank You for Your patience - and everything You gave me... but Lord, save me today from wasting my time! Save me from wasting Your time! ... - time and time again I repent for this, for wasting time... This doesn't mean that I "do nothing" or "do meaningless things", but that there's so much time that I just waste! And this brings me to,
One Meaningful Thing I Did Today - Don't Waste Your Time: schedule it!
Let me put it this way: if you work with your boss in the same room, and he keeps an eye on you, or your manager checks in with you every once in a while... and then one day the manager is not in, would you still work / do the things you need to do in the same way, at the same speed, with the same diligence as if the manager were there? That's the question I asked myself yesterday, and today when my manager was not in, I had to put it in practice! That's why I was praying even more today, Lord, save me from wasting time today! I give my work day to You! Lord, keep me focused! Be my diligence!
Again I say, this doesn't mean that I just do nothing when the manager is not there, but there's a temptation to chill a bit, to take things easy, to slow things down, to postpone some things, to have extended breaks... - there's a side of us that we don't discover or know we have until we're put in a special situation! So today, after having a time with the Lord in the morning, I got to this conclusion - DON'T WASTE TIME - SCHEDULE IT! So many things to take care of, so many customers, so many issues, website, blogs, products, updates, calls, orders, etc... Touching the Lord in the morning and consecrating the whole day to Him really helps - He keeps you going at it and being diligent, you just "co-operate" with His inner operating!
It is the same with our spiritual life. I was listening to the latest podcast at AgeTurners.com, the one concerning Scheduling our Time(1), and brother Ricky was sharing about the same thing. We may be touched by the Lord in the meetings, in the Poland camp, at the Students Training, or at other conferences / trainings / summer or winter schools, etc. We may consecrate ourselves to the Lord, and the Lord may touch us concerning having a time with Him in the morning, reading the Bible, being in the middle of the church life, preaching the gospel, having a companion, etc. But then school / work comes - and the school is indeed upon us now, at least for those in the high school, and the university starts pretty soon also - where things pile up, other people / things / schedules / meetings / classes demand for our attention!
It's time to STOP WASTING OUR TIME and start SCHEDULING OUR TIME! A very practical way to practice the things that the Lord has touched us with - and at the same time a good way to do anything worthwhile which can become a good habit - is to schedule that time into our daily routine! If we don't schedule the life practices it happens the same as when we don't schedule a time to study for school! You don't schedule it, you waste your time and don't do it! So I enjoyed these practical points concerning Scheduling the Life Practices daily:
- schedule a time early in the morning to spend with the Lord! Yes, we all want to spend time with the Lord, but SCHEDULE this time - the length of the time doesn't matter, the creating of the habit of touching Him first thing in the morning does! For this, you may need to go to bed a bit earlier so that you may have 5-10 time with the Lord in the morning!
- Schedule a time to read the Word of God! Put into your daily schedule a slot when you just Read The Bible! Get on the schedule - see www.readhisword.com for more info - and even get a companion to check up on you and to pursue with! 1 chapter of the Old Testament and 1 chapter of the New Testament is not much - but the reading time needs to be scheduled.
- Schedule a time for the gospel - if you can't go on the gospel weekly, at least pray with a companion for your friends and colleagues / workmates, and then set a time to speak to them! Don't leave it "when the Lord speaks to me and inspires me" - schedule a time to pray with your companion for your friends!
- Schedule your church life - don't go only to the young people's meetings / student meetings and the Table Meeting(which are VERY important for us), but also schedule to go to the prayer meeting! What about a service meeting - where you can serve practically with the saints, or serve with the younger ones / the children! Schedule it at least once a month to do this.
Time goes by ANYWAYS, so why not make use of it and redeeming it(Eph. 5:12) - by practically Scheduling our time?!? Don't "overschedule" by putting all these into your daily routine and then giving up after the first week. But pray and fellowship with the Lord about all these, and schedule them one by one! Start with the morning time, then the daily reading of the Word, then the gospel time, then the church life... If we schedule the life practices with the Lord and we fellowship with our companions, this will eventually have a beneficial impact on our studies, our work life, our relationships, etc.
.... So even at work, when my boss is not around, I can still schedule the things I need to do, the main items I need to take care of, etc(it works, and it's effective!). And then after work / school / uni - don't just "let it be how it goes", don't just "chill", but slot in the reading of the Bible, the reading of the ministry, spiritual books, the exercise, meeting with the saints, spending time with the Lord, taking care of your finances, cleaning, sports, etc. Even writing on the blog - for the Lord and with the Lord - can be a "life practice". I need to learn to redeem the time - by scheduling it! Lord, save me from wasting my time and Your time!