What to do when time is running out?
Taking time for connections with people we love can be tough. We all have different demands upon our lives that we must divide into a 24 hour period. There are many stages of life. In some stages, it seems 24 hours is ample. Then there are the "Whirlwind Stages" of life where even if God would double up, we would still run out of time before we ran out of things to do.
God created time for man. He doesn't need it. He can be everywhere at once, and never gets overbooked. He even tells us in His word that, our times are in His hands. I would say, I am a handful at the least. I know this all sounds funny, but it is really a sad situation when we love people, and would rather be with people than do the maintenance, and work, it takes to reach people, and meet their needs, as well as train, prepare and equip them; for their future, and the enlargement of the Kingdom of God. I have attached a sermon below for your personal study time. It is not mine, but I did enjoy it, and, hope that it does help you, and others..
Here are five key principles of time management.
1. Set PRIORITIES
2. Build RELATIONSHIPS
3. Take Time To PLAN
4. Take time to ORGANISE
5. Learn to be FLEXIBLEFive Key Principles Of Time Management
Time Management – God’s Way
Think for a moment about what the greatest stressors in your life are today. Haven’t your stressors involved some feelings of being overloaded with responsibilities – at home – at work – at school – at church – or maybe a combination of all of these plus more. You are stressed because you are: running late for an appointment then get stopped at a traffic light. Then the car starts acting up – and how are you going to find the money and the time to get it fixed? Is there going to be enough time to come home from work – cook dinner and then still make it to school for the parents evening? Oh, and by the way, Henry down the street suggested you should get together sometime for coffee – you told him you would call him back but you still haven’t taken the time to call him back yet.
Each of these anxiety-producers has to do with time management. Think of how many day-to-day issues involve the use of time. In fact, that is what the day consists of – T – I – M – E. The clock seems to be our enemy – because it keeps on ticking no matter what happens – regardless of whether we have time for it or not.
The solution is time management. But here is the catch. Time management will require work if you want to succeed. It will require hard work. It will require homework and it will require heart work. Being successful at time management – requires work.
In this weeks blog, I would like to talk about five key principles of time management. These principles will help you manage your time as you struggle with your overwhelming situations in life. Let me give you five guiding principles of time management.
1. Set PRIORITIES
You cannot be effective in time management unless you set priorities.
Probably many of you know the illustration of the physics teacher who gave his students a wide-mouth mason jar. He then gave them five big rocks, a handful of marbles, a container of sand and a glass of water. He said, “You’ve got fifteen seconds to put all of these items in the jar."
The physics teacher then stepped back with a stopwatch in hand and yelled, “Go!” The students poured in the sand, threw in the marbles and started stuffing the rocks in. After fifteen seconds he shouted, “Times up.” They're still sitting on the table were three large rocks and the glass of water. The students started complaining, “It can’t be done. It’s impossible. All that stuff will not fit. The jar is too small.”
The teacher calmly said, “I can put them all in the jar.” The students responded, “Show us.” So they dumped everything back on the table – separated everything and started over. The teacher then took the jar and placed a couple of the big rocks in the jar. He filled in any gaps around the big rocks with the marbles and continued to fill the jar until it was up to the brim with all the big rocks and all the marbles. The teacher then took the sand and slowly poured it into the jar and watched as it cascaded around the rocks and the marbles – filling all the holes and spaces. He then took the glass of water and poured it into the jar. Everything fit perfectly. He then said, “It all fits – but it depends on the order that you put them in the jar – that is a matter of setting priorities. When you set priorities you can make it happen.” Jesus said it this way:
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
Jesus was saying that we need to set priorities in life. Time management number one is set priorities.
2. Build RELATIONSHIPS
We find that Jesus set this principle when He was asked:
“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:36-40 (HCSB)
Jesus tells us that there are two relationships that are vital.
A. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father – and
B. Our relationship with other people.
Why would He tell us that relationships are the most important things? Because all the “stuff” – material possessions – will disappear – but relationships will last. The money – the job – the possessions – the toys – all that “stuff” – will all be gone in the end. But your relationship with God will last forever. In fact – where you will spend eternity is based on one thing – your relationship with God. Therefore, your relationship with God is of vital importance. If you do nothing else in this life – take the time to build your relationship with God.
3. Take Time To PLAN
Someone once told me – you need to hope for the best – but plan for the worst. There is much wisdom in that statement. Jesus talked about planning when He said,
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30 (ESV)
Let me ask you a question – how many of you planned to be at Church on Sunday? You know what? – I did too. In fact, I even went on Sunday – prepared to preach. I knew that last week I left here as the pastor and I planned to return this week as the pastor. I also knew that as the pastor someone here would expect me to preach. So you know what I did – I planned for it. I prepared my sermon. I went over it and over it – not necessarily that I know it word for word – but thought by thought. But that just does not happen – it comes with work – it comes with experience – it comes with planning. I believe that every minister should take time to plan out their messages.
Planning can also help with your family life. You know that each year birthdays come around – and so do holidays. We all have our family traditions – plan for them – prepare for them. Proverbs tells us:
“The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.” Proverbs 21:5 (HCSB)
The Message Bible says it this way:
“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” Proverbs 21:5 (MSG)
Do you want to use your time wisely? Plan ahead.
4. Take time to ORGANIZE
Folks I cannot tell you how much time I have spent looking for things that I have misplaced – but I have spent quite a bit of time looking for things I have misplaced. One of the things that really bothers me is when I am working on something such as my lawnmower – and I will lay a part or a tool down and then I can’t find it. I have not moved on inch from where I am working – but the thing is gone. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “hide-it fairy” – but if there is – this fairy visits my home on a regular basis. (I really don’t believe in fairies.) I have spent many a minute – looking for something that is within arm’s length – and sometimes within plain sight.
No wonder Jesus could tell this story:
"Imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbours: ’Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God." Luke 15:8-10 (MSG)
We all know what it means to lose something. One way to help save time is to take time to organize.
If I organize things – label things – group similar things together – nine times out of ten – it will help me save time.
5. Learn to be FLEXIBLE
Folks – right here is a key principle. The reason I say this is – because no matter how much you plan – no matter how much you organize – no matter how much you prioritize – things could happen which will change everything. There are events in life that can happen quickly – in an instant – that can change our lives forever. Someone once told me – that there should be another beatitude – it goes like this:
“Blessed are the flexible, for they are not easily broken.”
In my studies, I have found that the Puritans would make elaborate plans. They would outline their lives and plan out what they hoped to do. They must have spent hours setting priorities – planning – setting goals for their lives. But one thing that they did – which impressed me – was at the end of plans they would say – “God willing”. Folks – isn’t that the bottom line. “God willing” As we plan - it is still God who is in control - and we can never forget that fact.
Friends – Jesus put it this way:
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-27 (KJV)
How we spend our time is important. Are you building a relationship – with God?