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When I was younger I complained a lot about having to wait. I felt like it took forever for my birthday, Christmas or summer break to come around. My mom would always say ‘the older you get the faster times goes by’. I thought she was crazy. I had no idea what she was talking about. A day was always 24 hours, a week 7 days and a year 365 days (with the exception of leap year). I didn’t understand how it could go by faster as I got older.
Now that I’m older I understand what she meant. It doesn’t really go by faster, it just seems like it does. We become so consumed with things to do there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done. We don’t notice time going by because we’re busy. When we don’t get our to-do list complete for the day or week we simply make the excuse that time flew by or we lost track of it.
We can’t lose track of time. It’s always there, ticking away. When I fail to get everything done it’s usually because I became distracted, something took longer than anticipated or I got lazy and put it off.
Then I started to wonder, what’s so distracting that it causes me to fail at completing a simple to-do list? For one, I have too many things I’m trying to get done at once. I’ll be sitting working on something and then I jump up because I remember the laundry needs to be put in the dryer or the clothes folded before they become wrinkled. Then while doing that I remember a bill needs to get paid and put in the mail, so I stop, mid activity, to take care of that issue. When done with that I forget about the other two things I was in the process of doing and start a new activity. Later I might go into the kitchen to get something to eat and realize I needed to load the dishwasher or clean the counters and completely forget I was going to eat. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking in circles around my house all day and accomplishing nothing.
Another thing is I have too many resources at the tip of my fingers. Yes, I know, it’s a good thing to be able to check my email, the weather or social media so easily. It’s convenient. It’s also distracting. When a thought pops in my head like ‘what’s the weather going to be like this weekend’ or ‘I wonder what kind of camp sites are available’ I think it will only take a minute to check. Then I won’t have to wonder any more. That’s a good thing right? No, because it ALWAYS takes longer than a minute. Before I know it it’s been 30 minutes or even an hour and several websites later.
So how do I take control of the minutes in my day? I recently took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Course. The class is about not letting our money control us and how to control our money. One of the ways we control our money is by creating a budget to help us know and understand where our money goes. Then I realized I needed to budget my time better.
Each day I wake up with what seems like a million and two things to do. I go into my day feeling defeated by what I need to get done. I do pray each morning. I pray for God to be in the details of my day so that I may accomplish His will for me that day. But then as I go about my day, I try and do it in my own strength and power. No wonder I struggle at getting anything done. I have no strength or power without God.
I never used to make to-do lists. I kept them all in my head. I thought a written to-do list was a sign of weakness. Then God reminded me, as it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, He will strengthen me with His perfect power in my weakness.
I don’t have to act like, or think, I have it all together. God knows I don’t, and He doesn’t expect me to either. He will enable me to do all I need to do each day as I look to Him for my strength, not myself.
I am now writing down my to-do list and it turns out, I don’t have a million and two things to do. Only a dozen or so. I can manage that….with God’s help. I’m also going to (try) and pray before taking on each one of the things listed on my to-do list. I’ll pray for it to be accomplished in a timely manner with little or even no distractions.
I stumbled across Ephesians 3:16-19 this morning and thought it would be the perfect prayer for us today.
‘ I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ ~ Amen