In my first post about being responsible with our resources, I mentioned three big areas. These areas are time, money, and talents. In this post, I am going to discuss the idea of being held accountable for how we spend our time. We are a people who are easily distracted, and we like it. We know that we waste time, but those darn cat pictures are just so fun to look at.
In my own life, I have wasted an incredible amount of time. The amount of time that I have spent watching television, playing video games, or mindlessly browsing the internet is simply embarrassing. I spent several years with grand plans of doing something great with my life and making a difference in the world, but when it came right down to it I would just waste the evenings and weekends on mindless entertainment and amusement. The worst thing was that I knew exactly what I was doing, but I didn’t have the willpower to actually do anything about it. After all, why save the world today when you can put it off until tomorrow?
Those days are now behind me, but I still sometimes wonder just how much time I still waste. I am a decently busy individual. I work a normal, full-time job, have a family to spend time with, volunteer in a couple of different capacities, and take classes on the side. Often, with everything going on at once, I have a hard time slowing down and designating time for the important things like investing in my spiritual needs. Sure, I am involved in a couple of different ministries and I am in the process of preparing for a future of serving the church, but my spiritual relationship is more important than acts of service. Especially with the advent of smartphones and other electronic devices, all my free time can easily be absorbed in mindless things like social media and entertainment. I can often find myself at the end of the day without finding time for prayer, and I know that if I was more interested in talking to God than I was checking status updates, I would have found plenty of time for prayer.
In order to combat this, I need to do a couple of things. First of all, I need to make sure I am creating strict priorities for myself. I intellectually “know” that prayer is a priority, but I don’t live my life that way. That needs to change. Also, in order to have an honest picture on how much time I waste on my phone, I have put an activity tracker app on my phone that tracks how much time I spend on my phone, and what I am doing in that time. I am somewhat afraid of what I will find. My goal is to be spending more time in the Word and in prayer each day than I spend wasting time on my various digital devices.
I don’t know how much time I have on this earth. I have spent years of my life on nothing of value, and those are years that I will never get back. While it is easy to look back and lament the lost time, there is nothing that I can do now to change the past. I need to now make sure that moving forward I am making the best use of my time. For the remaining time that I have left, I hope to learn to be a faithful steward of what I have been given.
Next post, enough about me, how is the church managing its time?