Passing on Consumables for things Remembered
Everyone knows that time is valuable. Most of us wish we had more of it. And more to the reality of the situation, most of us which we managed it better. It is easy to blame things on non-negotiable time demands, like sleep, jobs, and other required events and commitments. But the truth is, we have a lot more time at our disposal than we think. The problem is, we throw most of it down the disposal. Let's consider how that happens and plan a better approach to time management!
Can you find the "free time" in a given day? Before we talk about how to use discretionary time, we first must admit that it does, in fact, exist. If someone says, "I have no time," then a discussion on how to use time won't do much good. We all have free time available in a given day: maybe it is first thing in the morning for half an hour (no more snooze buttons), maybe it is on a long work commute, at the lunch break, or in the evening. Maybe it is an hour at night before bed. Maybe it happens on a Saturday, or on Sunday after worship services. It exists, or it can exist with just a few minor sacrifices. The question isn't: do you have any time under your control? The real question is: what are you doing with it?
Is that time being spent on things that are consumed and forgotten? Now it's time to be more specific. How have you been using discretionary time? There are "low hanging fruit" options that won't fill you up for much longer than an apple. In other words, some things are consumed and forgotten almost immediately: time spend perusing social media, time spent watch television shows or news programs you don't even really care about, etc. The list is endless. In 21st Century America, we have gotten very good at wasting time. Why? Because there are so many stinking options! The internet on our phone, 300 channels on our television, endless book selections on Audible. Can you name a few time zaps you commonly give in to, which almost never create real or lasting benefit? Yeah, me too.
How can you replace those things with stuff that actually matters? Well, firstly, I'm not saying to burn all the books, throw out the television, and cancel cell phone service. Although that last one does sound enticing. But how about being more judicious with those thing? Only buy books you have reason to believe will actually be enjoyable, used and remembered. Only record television programs, or sporting events, that you actually care about, or still remember fondly from last season. Only go to Facebook to check in on specific friends or share something that matters, and then leave it. Instead of saying, "only do this for X amount of time," how about "only do things that matter while you are there, and when it becomes a mindless brain melt, walk away." This moderate amount of discipline will lead to greater opportunities!
What can this discipline open up for you on a daily bases? Okay, now here is the exciting outcome of your discipline: you get to assign that time to things that you know matter. Have you been wanting to spend more than 2 minutes a day in prayer? Ready to get back to reading a chapter of the Bible each day of the week? Miss those days went you sent cards and emails each week to the sick and church visitors? All of that is excellent time usage, and is sure to be remembered, or at least actually make a difference. If you follow the program, you know how much I love daily journaling. In the Excel Still More journal, each day we write prayers, notes from Bible study, and lay out daily spiritual highlights to pursue. I don't always remember all of that, but it builds toward something quite memorable: a more faithful life in Christ.
Time is short, passing, and uncertain. Don't get to the end of it and regret the wasted hours, days and opportunities. Instead, look back with joy and remember what you learned, who you helped, and who you have become through intentional time usage and your ability to decide between that which is Consumed and that which is Remembered.
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