Fall is a busy time of year. Schedules are packed. And it got me thinking about the value of our time. So I decided to write about it.
Then Friday afternoon when I was doing some reading for a reflection assignment for Introduction to Ministry I was asked a similar question. It got me thinking about how important our schedule is. What it contains, who is in it, and how much is in it are all very important things. I would like to look at each of those pieces a little closer.
What Our Schedule Contains
Where are we investing out time? What kinds of things fill our lives? Is it filled with things that focus on others or ourselves? God or idols? Serving or being served? It is often not until we truly look at our calendars that we can find the answers. We need to balance the "what" in our schedules. We should look at our calendars and easily find family, work, friends, volunteering, and God (and whatever else we truly value). One easy way to see what truly matters to us is to color code our schedules. I know I do. It allows me to see what my life is really filled with. Lately when I look at my schedule all I see is work. Now work is good but we can't work 24/7 and have a perfectly fulfilled life. We need relationships and we need to prioritize them (I'll talk about this more in the next section). So what activity dominates our time? If it is hard to recognize one of those pieces that we say are one of our core values then maybe we should make some changes.
Who Is In Our Schedule
What kind of people have priority in our schedules? People who help us grow or people who make us less like the kind of person God is calling us to be? No matter what people say who we spend our time with truly does determine who we become. So who are your top 5 people you spend the most time with. Are they the kind of people you hope to become? Because you become more and more like them all the time without even realizing it. Another thing we should do when it comes to the "who" in our schedule is that we should invest in others. We should mentor and guide those who aren't as experienced as us in whatever way we can wherever we can. We can help the new guy at work or the freshman at college or a younger family member. It isn't always easy but it is worth it. So do we invest enough in people who need us? Also, do we spend enough time with our families? Everyone's family is different. Every one has struggles but they vary in kind and how big they are so I can understand why many may cringe at the thought of spending time with one of their family members. I am pretty lucky to have the family I do. Families at their best are there for one another. They provide a support system but you can't be your part of the system if you never spend time with your family. It can be easy to put family on the schedule last. Especially when work or school or other things get busy but family isn't something we should tack onto the calendar if we have time. It should have priority. If it doesn't then maybe your should get out your pencil and eraser. So what kind of changes do we need to make to our schedules so that the right people are in our schedules?
How Much Is In Our Schedule
We must not just focus on who is in our schedule or what is in our schedule. We must also take a look at how much we put in our schedule. If our calendars are bare then we may not be reaching the potential we were meant to. When we have things on our calendars it means that we have things to do. We have responsibilities and responsibilities in themselves are not a bad thing. It is a very good thing. We are meant to work. Our lives are very dull without work. However there is such a thing as a schedule that is too full. I think that the average reader is probably more likely to have this issue. These days people are always on the move. That is why we have fast food. People don't have time for sit-down meals. Why else would we need a drive-thru? This is why we order things for pick-up. We don't have the time. We have planners because if we didn't we would never remember all of our responsibilities. People are always on the move and on the go. Being active is good... up to a point. Many people, however, push themselves way too much. Some think that is good but I tend to think differently. I think when we are SO busy we never give anything our full attention. When we are in church and we spend the whole service thinking about how we are going to fit in all of the things we are doing that day then that isn't good. We need to have a schedule full of meaningful things but we don't need that schedule to be overflowing. That benefits no one. We need our schedule to allow us to listen to God and do as He says. If our schedule is maxed out we don't have time to do the things God is prompting us to do like sit down and have dinner with a friend who is down or spend some extra time with Him.
There is truly a lot more to our schedules than most of us think. I hope this post made you think a little bit and I hope you truly reflect on what your schedule might look like in God's eyes. If you don't have time to do that then maybe you have already found what you need to change.
Reflection and Application
I know I already touched on this a bit but I want to condense it down to a few questions to reflect on...
1. What are your core values? Does your schedule show that?
2. Who are the most important people in your life? Does your schedule show that they are a priority?
3. Who are the top 5 people you spend your time with? Do you want to become like them (because you will)?
4. Is your schedule too full for you to listen to God's promptings and enjoy life or is it not full enough that you are wasting potential God put in you?