Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Am I Supposed To Be Doing With My Time?!

Today is my husband's birthday.  Last night, I asked him if he had to entitle the past year, what he would name it.  The year of what???  He never really answered the question (probably because I kept offering suggestions and he couldn't think straight), but just said it has been a really good year. 

What makes a good year?  I think a year is good mostly because we spend our time well and because we've grown in one or several areas: physically (gotten stronger and more fit), spiritually (closer to God), socially (closer to others), and emotionally (less prone to temper tantrums).  It is true that other things can make a year good, like inheriting a bunch of money, a new baby, a promotion, or some other unmerited gift, but my focus is on the more probable and dependable variables:  growth and the gift of time.
Time itself has been very good to me.  Following is a journal entry from 7 years ago.  I no longer wonder how I am supposed to be spending my time; that has become clear for me.  But, it wasn't always that way.

May 16, 2005 - It’s Monday and I’m wondering what I’m supposed to be doing.  The only thing I feel 100% certain of is that time spent with my son is time well-spent.  Not a moment is lost or untreasured.  If God were in the driver’s seat – Where would he be taking us?  What would he be doing in his free time?  I hardly think he would be reading a murder mystery and catching some rays.  What’s really important?  How can I have a whole day and not know what I am supposed to do?!  Our time here on earth is supposed to be spent getting ready to go to heaven…What am I supposed to do?  Spend the days with the lonely, poor, disadvantaged lot?  Where are they?  Who are they?  Am I supposed to study the Word all day long – looking for the answers to these questions?  God – Please let your will be done in my life…May I be your light in the world.  Please shine through me, Lord.  I Love You!  Fixing fences, mowing lawns, cleaning house…Are we wasting precious time? (end)

In 7 years, I have learned (with God's grace) what I am supposed to be doing with my time.  I am supposed to spend the first and last wakeful periods of the day in conversation with God.  Spend time in His Word.  Pray always (praise, thanksgiving, contrition, and petition).  Beyond that, I am supposed to love and serve others.  First, my husband, then kids, then everyone else.  I take the opportunities to love and serve as they come to me (as an obvious need or as an inspiration).  I have learned that we can be doing anything that is not morally depraved and still be in the Presence of God. 

I have learned that what we are doing matters much less than how we are doing it.  If you are closer to Heaven (more mindful of God) when you are finished, then it was time well-spent.

I don't know who to attribute the following quote to, but I copied it from one of those inspirational posters.  I love the idea of exchanging a day of our life for something.  It seems to capture the profundity of what we are really doing.

"This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good."
In Make Today Count, John Maxwell says:  "The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of those that matter least."  "Have I added value to anyone's life today?"  He also quotes D.L. Moody "Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can."

Lastly, the following quote was very freeing for me (especially in the housework arena), so I hope it is the same for you.

"Some things need doing better than they've ever been done before. Some just need doing. Others don't need doing at all. Know which is which." - Unknown

Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of time.  Give us the grace to recognize it.  Thank you for leading us so gently and answering questions that we forgot we asked.  Thank you for making it simple to follow You.  Please give us wisdom to discern what needs to be done well, what just needs to be done, and what doesn't need doing at all.  Help us to pursue all of our activities with the goal of being closer to Heaven when we finish.  We love you.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. This is great. Another thing to add to your list is spending time with your new friend, Amanda.