Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blog #1011

I would venture to say that just about everyone on the planet realizes that time is a precious, though often misunderstood, element to most people. We vacillate back and forth between having time on our hands and being completely out of time. Time is essential for every human endeavor whether it's for working at our jobs, learning new skills, or establishing relationships. Time is the one true thing that is priceless here on earth. Generally, no amount of money can equal the value of our time. Yet Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that "there is a time for everything."

Time can't be stored up or given in advance. Time can't be reused or recycled. You can't earn time or give it away. You can't postpone or reserve time. Once time comes and passes that time will never be again. You can't borrow time, extend time, or shorten time. We can't add a single minute to our lives here on earth, only God has control of time (2Kings 20:6). It's an absolutely essential element in our lives over which we have no control at all, except to spend it wisely.

We need to ask ourselves periodically exactly what is it that we are doing with our time. The apostle Paul urges us to make good use of every opportunity we have (Col 4:5).

Time is a priceless gift that God wants us to use properly and prudently, treating it as the valuable gift it is. Unfortunately, believers too often spend time on projects and passions that, from the perspective of eternity, have absolutely no lasting value at all. Most of our endeavors are a waste of time. Jesus left us with a great example of how to use time wisely and efficiently. Jesus was never hurried and He was never late. At the beginning and end of each day, He found a quiet place away from the crowds and used his precious time to talk with His heavenly Father. He recognized the value of prayer and He also recognized that it was the greatest time saver in the world. How so, we might ask?

God knows our schedule even before it happens (Ps 139:16) and through prayer, He gives us wisdom and guidance concerning which things are of greatest value ... where our time is best spend. When we rely on our own efforts we actually waste time. If we submit our schedules and ourselves through prayer to God, He will make sure we spend the most time on the items of most importance to Him. The apostle Paul equates our own efforts to wood, hay, and straw; all elements that can be consumed by fire (1Cor 3:12) and have no real value. We would do well to take time each day to lift up our schedules in prayer and ask God to point out any wasted efforts in our lives. If we do this, He will help us make the best use of our time on the best things in life.

We need to take a little time every morning and commit our day to the Lord, offering our bodies and minds to Him as living sacrifices. Then we need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit who will reveal the important things to us. We will find that some things that we thought were of utmost importance, were of very little consequence to the Spirit. And conversely, we will find that some things we had thought to be of little concern are really very important to the Lord. It does no good to offer our day to the Lord if we don't pay attention to His leadings. We can't pray, "Thy will be done" and then grab hold of the steering wheel and try to direct our own course for the day. It takes effort to spend our time in the wisest way possible but if we allow the Spirit room in our lives, He will guide us to the best use of it.

We have many time-saving devices in our lives. But do we make good use of them while making poor use of our time? Do we save time only to waste time? Let's offer up our lives and make the best possible use for our time. Let's keep a project on the back burners so that when we do save a little time doing something, we will have something else to spend our saved time on. Personally I find that I waste an awful lot of my time. I know this is an area where I have not relinquished total control to the Lord and I need to work on it. I need to submit my entire day to God and then follow His leadings on the best use of my time. How about you? Do we have something in common here? Let's keep a close eye on our time and see exactly when and where we are leading the course, and when and where we've given the steering wheel to our Lord. We just might surprise ourselves when we actually take a closer look. Part of our Christian walk is to give total control of our entire lives to God. We are called to a life of service and prayer. We need to examine where and how we are serving.

God wants us. All of us. And He wants our time too. God wants nothing so much as our time. Time spent in love and service to Him. We are placed on this earth to live lives devoted to our God. God loves us and desires we spend as much time as possible with Him. He's so much more than our feeble attempts to be involved in our children's lives and if we get pleasure from being involved in the lives of our children, think of how much more so God does with us. He is the perfect exemplar for how we should live our lives. God never wastes time and neither should we. Now that I've said that, let's submit our day to God and see where he directs us to spend our time.


No special items on my agenda today. Just the usual stuff I do every day. Had lots of emails from friends and family when I cranked up the old computer this morning. One was a trip down memory lane. Back to when we were all kids and our parents owned and operated a grocery store about 15 - 20 miles south of Fresno.

Michael and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary on the 18th, which is next Sunday. My oldest granddaughter has seen to it that we will have a great time. She got us tickets to the Jewel concert and has a table reserved in the restaurant where she works for our dinner. What an angel she is!! I just can't believe it's been 35 years! It doesn't seem like it could possibly be 35 years and yet at the same time, it seems like we have always been together, that there was no life before Michael. Funny how our minds work (or don't!).

I guess we'll just have hot dogs for dinner tonight. We need to use up the buns before they go bad and we finished up our leftover spaghetti last night. Money was really tight for us this month so we're doing our best to conserve. (That's a nice way of saying we're eating poor this month. LOL)

Well, I don't have anything else to write about and I still need to get things done. I got up early but I didn't spend my morning wisely (meaning: I didn't get to my blog until late). I will have to reread my devotional and take it to heart. It's always easier said than done. Know what I mean? Do as I say and not as I do? Hopefully I won't have too many typos to try to catch before publishing my blog. I don't usually make that many spelling errors. My problem centers around typing the wrong word and a spell checker can't help you there if you've spelled it correctly. For instance, I'm really good at typing "out" when I meant to type "our," you know, that kind of stuff. It's frustrating because when I go back and reread what I've written my eye just seems to slide right over those kind of errors. A person should never try to do their own proofreading for that very reason. It's best to have someone else proof it.

It's a beautiful day here. The sun is out brightly and the skies are clear. It was a little nippy when I got up but it's going to be a really nice day. I should probably get in and do some laundry today (I was going to write "this morning" and then realized that "morning" is almost gone. I can't believe how much time I can waste away. (Yes, I know: read my own blog!!!) It's a shame to get up early and then just piddle the morning away. I better get busy or I won't get anything done today except this blog. I seriously need to take my blog to heart. But it's one thing to write it and quite another thing to do it. But I will try and see if I can't do things better and I'll keep you posted. Maybe I should tithe my time. Speaking of which, did you realize you can tithe just about anything. You can tithe your time, your entertainment, just about anything. I have a cousin that just recently ended a Star Bucks tithe! I think she kept it for 6 weeks if I remember correctly. Funny how doing without something tends to center our thoughts on the Lord. Every time we get a craving we think about the reason we aren't giving in to our desire. I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary of giving up cigarettes. Yea for me!!! And, yeah, it's still a daily struggle. Guess it always will be. And you know what? It's just as hard to say no today as it was 11 months ago. It really doesn't get any easier. Hopefully by this time next year it won't be so hard. But every time I have a craving I just think of why I quit in the first place. Because I offered my body as a living sacrifice!

Okay, that's it for me today. I need to make a trip out to the post office and then decide if I need to do the laundry. I'm just so bad about housework any more. I used to keep such a clean house. I still don't live in a cluttered one (for the most part) but I'm just bad about dusting and that short of thing. I manage to do the bathrooms once a week or so and I keep my bed made every day but anything other than that is just pushed out of my mind. The real problem I have is animal hair but when you've got 5 cats and a dog living inside your house, you're going to have a hair problem. Sigh!!! Until tomorrow ...

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