One Thing

So, I’m working on my schedule again. Over the years, I’ve realized that unless I budget my time around my priorities, I will fall under the tyranny of the urgent and of my desires. I want to live on purpose. I don’t know how long I will have on this earth but I’m sure it will be as much as I need to glorify God. And yet, whether I use it for that end is up to me.

As I’ve been contemplating my schedule, the realization came in afresh as to how much time I actually waste. The next thought behind that one was of Christ’s “Parable of the Talents.” While the main point of that parable seems to be that we ought to use rather than hoard the resources the Lord entrusts to us, I would say that it also implicitly teaches that ought not to waste those resources either. The bigger message contained here is that we will give account to our Lord over how we’ve used the things he’s entrusted to us for a kingdom return. One such resource is time and I don’t want to waste even a second of what I have left in this very short “day.”

Until this morning, when I’ve made a schedule, I’ve first taken time to articulate and prioritize my goals in life. In crafting my schedule, I’ve attempted to allocate time accordingly. But now, I’m thinking that I should go back over my schedule applying just one question, “Will this glorify God?” I believe that question to be broad enough to allow for a realistic schedule that includes things like teaching my children, doing chores around the house, eating and sleeping. After all, Paul did say that whether we eat or drink we should do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Living exclusively for God’s glory it would seem, has more to do with the intentions behind my actions than with any specific prescriptions. Living for the glory of God can pervade the mundane details of my life and infuse them with holy purpose.

This doesn’t mean that living for God’s glory won’t change the way I allocate time, though. It will not only change the way I allocate time, meaning the actual tasks to which I devote time, but also the way I allocate time meaning the process which I use to make those determinations. The glory of God is the one unifying intention which relieves me of the tension I feel when trying not to “rob Peter to pay Paul.” When I allocate time based on a list of priorities, I find that I always feel a tinge of guilt of any time given to ministry because it’s time I’m not spending on my family or on stewarding myself. Conversely, a day away from ministry while a huge blessing seems to always whisper indictments of dereliction of duty. By lifting my eyes above these priorities, I find that they are just aspects of the one thing that matters. And so, engaging in one contributes to the others and vice versa.

Besides alleviating the double bind brought on by lists, the pursuit of God’s glory actually makes us more productive across the board.  Juggling priorities is frankly exhausting. The feelings of guilt and failure over constantly neglecting something while doing another thing, drain me emotionally. By the end of the day, I just want to veg out. And even while I’m vegging out, I still try to fulfill more unmet responsibilities through sad attempts at multitasking. Ironically, I waste time in front of the tube because I want to rest but I stay up too late and wake up tired. This is just a perfect example of how aiming at a goal other than God’s glory becomes counter productive. When I aim at rest, I end up more tired. When I aim at ministry, I become self centered. When I aim at loving my family, I become mentally and emotionally detached. How easily I am misled all while attempting to be the person I want to be. I guess that’s the problem at the end of the day, I will never be the person I want to be until I surrender that person to the unchanging, unpredictable will of God – his own glory through Jesus Christ.

Here is a video:

Published by Nathan Wilkerson

Holding on for dear life.

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