Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)
TITLE: A Matter of Minutes
By Lillian Rhoades
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Too precious to lose, they leave us nonetheless. Almost without notice minutes slip away to be entombed wherever we bury our memories. Although minutes belong to us – ours to consume and ours to control – we cannot stop their exodus.
One ancient King bid us to number our days. We take nothing away from his wise admonition when we declare, Lord, teach us to monitor our minutes. Our week, our month, and ultimately our year hinge on our ability to manage each sixty seconds of our day, and in the push to “get things done,” most of us depend on our Lord for help.
Throughout the day when activities outweigh our time and dominate our attention, minutes filter into our conversation; most often when we’re pressed for time. The scene may change, but the lines carry a common theme. Our entire world becomes a stage for our frustrations.
At home – Just a minute, I’m coming.
On the job – Give me one moment and I’ll get back to you.
At church – Too many activities going on; I don’t have a minute for myself anymore.
When tragedy strikes – It could only have been a matter of minutes before I turned around and he was gone.
What can we do when we have too much to do?
One of my mother’s favorite maxims about money fits appropriately within the context of how we spend our time, and how to eliminate time overload. She often reminded her spendthrift offspring to: Save your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Her sage advice bodes well when we view our time in a similar light as our budget. When we guard our minutes wisely, we improve our chances to glean the maximum value out of our day.
Undoubtedly, busyness is a minute snatcher, but if we are busy and involved in the right activity, with the right motive for ourselves, our family, and our church, then what takes up our time becomes something we embrace without frustration or stress.
I loved every minute of it!
My, how the minutes flew by!
Why can’t you stay a few minutes longer?
Of course, there’s always a need to sift out the insidious activity invaders that assume the name of “must do’s.” We can’t always escape them, but we must be diligent to strike wherever and whenever they try to overtake our lives.
Sheila, the daughter of Robert Schuler, founder of The Crystal Cathedral, recently tells the story about an incident that took place when her boys were young.
One day, while she was busy washing dishes, one of boys came to her with an urgent request to “tell her something.” Without turning away from what was consuming her attention at the time, she responded by telling him to go ahead and tell her what was on his mind.
“But Mommy,” he insisted, I have to tell you something.”
“Go ahead, honey, I’m listening.”
“But Mommy,” he persisted, “You’re not listening with your eyes.”
Instantly, Sheila turned from the sink and gave her little son the undivided attention he needed and very wisely articulated. She turned from what could wait to what shouldn’t wait.
Perhaps that’s the missing piece that completes the puzzle to time management – paying attention to what shouldn’t wait and putting aside what can wait.
When King David wrote, Teach us to number our days, he added a reason to do so; that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Another translation adds new light. Teach us to consider each day of value that we may acquire discerning minds.
What value should we place on our time?
How we answer will help us discern what can wait and what must not wait; and will impact our To Do list.
Many times you may feel overwhelmed by busyness. Stop a minute, take inventory of what’s important. What ever activities seem poised to sabotage your minutes, your hours and your days, remember Psalms 90:12, Teach us to number our days, to consider each day of value, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, and acquire discerning minds.
Teach us...The verse implies that when there are more things to do than hours in our day, God offers a class in time management. Don’t be afraid to take the course.
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