Words of My Life: Time
In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life. This post describes my love-hate relationship with time.
Time is a demanding taskmaster.
I like schedules. When I edited magazines for our ministry, I loved that they were on a schedule and the staff and I kept them to that schedule.I like to be on time, though children and life make that a challenge.
The introvert in me pushes me to manage my time to include enough alone time.
My husband too often hears from me when he asks about doing something, meeting someone: “That’s not in my schedule.”
My list of things to do consistently exceeds the time I seem to have.
Almost everything takes me longer than I think it should.
Over my 70 years I have learned to keep from being ruled by the boundaries of time. Realities—for me—that have helped, though these are far from comprehensive, include:
People matter more than tasks. Yes, many tasks serve people. And some deadlines are important and urgent. But when my children were little, I chose reading to them over order in the house. Fun and creative family times are worth the time and effort. My friend’s need is higher priority than most of my “things to do.” Listening to someone who is lonely or hurting is time well spent.
Having a schedule helps me to manage time and keep my priorities in order. But I can’t let my schedule rule me—I need to be flexible to switch gears and attend to the current “1 priority.
Because I am an introvert in an extrovert job, I consistently put into my schedule time—brief and extended—to be alone. This is often my richest time with God as well as refreshing to me.
I have also recognized what are my energy costly activities—large social gatherings, especially with people I don’t know well, and what are my places of rest—at the beach, on a horse, in a book.
I seek to live out Ephesians 2:10—to discover and live the good works God has prepared for me to do. I want to make sure I am doing what God has given me to do, and not what He hasn’t assigned to me. And I try to remember that it doesn’t all have to be done in one year or even one decade.
I could list more, but these words from God’s Word are really the most helpful and most trustworthy:
David: “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands...” (Psalm 31:14-15)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time...” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
“I am the Lord. In its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:22b)
God lives in eternity, yet He lives in the present, in the NOW. His name is “I AM.” That’s present tense. He calls us to live in the present, which is where we find Him.
When we dwell in the past, we relive fear, uncertainty, failure, pain. Or we hold on to better times, wishing they would return.
If we dwell in the future, we dream, we project, we hope, which are not bad things. But we can’t know the future, or control it.
God calls us to live in the present, which is all that we really have. He is there with us: “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
God is not bound by time, but He operates in time. And He reminds us: He will accomplish His purposes in our lives in His perfect way at His perfect time.
What about you? How has God revealed Himself to you today?
C2014 Judy Douglass May I encourage you to take a few moments to read my short e-book Enduring Time. It will give more of God’s perspective on time, especially in the difficult or waiting times.