Friday, February 15, 2008

The Pressure of Time

"I really don't have time to post this, yet I must."

The same is true of many things in my life - and yours too, I'll bet. Whether you're out there on the field, or hammering out your place in the kingdom in a support role, you feel the pressure of a lack of time. You feel the "musts" -- whether from responsibility or passion -- and the "should's" and the "wait's" that make up our lives.

Americans make a business out of Time Management -- and to some extent, that's okay. Time, after all, is part of the created order; it came as a result of the sun and moon and the division of creation into day and night. And since it's created, it comes under those things that should be "managed" if you will -- for the glory of God.

And there's the rub. We manage our time for ourselves, for the expectations of others, even for the church. We forget that we should manage our time for God.

That's why I've come to see the pressures of limited time as a blessing in disguise. It's like a budget; I'm forced to prioritize because there's not as much there as I think I need. I'm forced to steward my time and see what rises to the top as a "must". I learn to define those "musts" Biblically and not preferentially; I'd really like for "catching up on my magazines and reading my book" to be a higher priority than "work hard at the job God has given me", but it's not, and so I watch my stack grow and know that there will be time for that, somewhere down the line.

But in the process I learn a lot about God's priorities as well. Infinitely free of the confines of time, He is completely free to use my entire life to teach me one key lesson. The process of sanctification -- painstakingly slow from my perspective -- is done on His schedule, not mine. Because He doesn't see that traffic jam as a hindrance to His schedule of sanctification, He feels completely free to use it to shape patience in me, and give me some extra time to use for prayer (if I don't squander it on the phone, or worse, complaining!).

Come to think of it, I don't know if I am responsible enough to handle an unlimited store of time, with nothing pressing me. So Lord, thank You for the gift - and the struggles - of time. Thank You for those times that crystallize what's really important, and help me live in Your priorities to make the most of the time. Thanks for the pressure that prioritizes.

But I'm still looking forward to not having clocks in heaven!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would like to comment at length but
don't have time!! ha Good observations as usual.