If sometime during your day today you suddenly found yourself with a free block of time—say two hours—what would you do with the time?
We learn a lot about our priorities in life by reviewing our calendars and to-do lists. People tend to find a way to do what they most want to do ... and in doing that, we see what matters most by the choices we make.
The answer to the question of "found time" is as telling as a question about found money. It's stunning sometimes how clearly God reveals my heart to me. I pray this often. Don't you?
"Create in me a pure heart" (see Ps. 51:10).
The decision I make on how I will spend time (isn't the word "spend" instructive?) reveals much about my heart. Perhaps we have become immune to thoughtful decisions about time because of the pace of life.
The feeling we have at the end of some days, "I worked all hard all day, was busy every minute, but I can't tell you about one thing of significance," is probably a universal cry.
We are all so busy ... being busy.
As pastors and leaders, we must show the way in the management of time as a point of accountability.
"So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12, emphasis added).
I remember a pastor from 30 years ago who always seemed to have time for me and everyone else who tugged at his garment. He smiled, opened his body language and listened deeply—as if he had nothing else to do on this day. He was a great writer and his sermons sparkled with preparation and anointing.
I learned a lesson from him that he didn't know he taught me. He didn't walk or talk fast. As a young Timothy, his pace frustrated me. He was never in a hurry, yet accomplished more than anyone I knew at the time. I noticed he didn't carry a Day-Timer, and my time with him preceded even the thought of a phone becoming smart.
He taught me—and I only recently came to grips with the lesson—that "being busy" is a badge of honor—perhaps ego.
"Please call my assistant and make an appointment" has a certain royalty ring to it. "Get in line ... lots of people need me." And over the last decade or so, we've been trained to respect busyness.
Leaders, how many times have you heard the opening line, "I know you're busy, but I need a few minutes"? I listen attentively for this phrase. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is suggesting you slow down. Somehow, in my walk through the building, through emails or text, for richer or poorer, I have signaled all those along my path, "I'm busy. I'm a big deal."
When I slow down, I hear more and I create more. And surprise, I do more.
Think through the following suggestions as you consider your ways as a leader in time management:
- Waiting upon the Lord isn't really a suggestion.
- "There is an appropriate time for every matter and deed" (Eccl. 3:17).
- Think of giving to others as the planting of seeds.
- Know that God is a redeemer of time.
- Do less and you will achieve more. Time fuels creativity.
Time management tools will not manage time for us. A new tech gadget rarely opens space on our calendar.
The most convicting thought of all is that others watch us spend time.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.
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